Lydia Murphy-Stephans, the newly-minted president of Pac-12 Networks, told reporters Wednesday that it is the obligation of Pac-12 sports fans to leave DirecTV if the satellite provider continues to refuse to cave to the network's demands. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times reports:
"We're on schedule, and right on plan, in terms of distribution for the Pac-12 Networks," she said. "I feel good about that. There's an obligation as fans, that if they want Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV is not carrying the Pac-12 Networks, the fan has to be willing to drop DirecTV and pick up a carrier that is.
"It's a very difficult and complicated business and I am in the trenches with it. Fans just can't hang onto DirecTV and put all the onus on the Pac-12. We can offer it and provide DirecTV with a very fair business offer, the same one (other carriers have contracted for), but we can't force DirecTV to take it. This is where I'm going to ask fans to step up."
Will DirecTV get on board by football season, as is widely believed? "I never predict it," Murphy-Stephans said.
Murphy-Stephans' comments come on the heels of recent remarks by Pac-12 President Larry Scott, who also instructed fans to drop their DirecTV packages in favor of providers who carry the conference's new channel. DirecTV has not placed the fledgling Pac-12 Network on its system yet, claiming that the conference's price and placement demands are too great. The satellite company is one of four major providers -- Verizon, AT&T, and Charter -- who all have refused the network's demands. Fans have largely responded with a shrug.
In other news, Murphy-Stephans announced that TV assignments for the first three weeks of the 2013 football season and announcer teams on Pac-12 Network will be announced on Wednesday, May 29. Games following the first few weeks will be announced later due to the conference's flexible television scheduling agreement with ESPN and Fox.