I am mad as hell! Despite being a senior writer for The Husky Haul, I will not be able to get the Pac-12 Network and see my Dawgs play! Even though I live in Arizona, well within the boundaries of the Pac-12’s historic footprint, my internet provider has decided that they are not interested in serving my needs. This got me wondering, who else among us is not going to be able to gain access to the new Pac-12 Network? How many other Husky fans will be left out in the cold because our corporate overlords are too greedy or lazy to give their customers what they demand?
When I first heard about the Pac-12 Network being formed, I was so excited! I have moved around quite a bit in my life, including living in Italy for 4 years, and have always had to get my Husky fix via various pirated internet streams including most recently the good graces of those who supply games on justin.tv and other similar sites. But, with the Pac-12 network coming, the opportunity was there to allow Husky fans anywhere in the world to see the University of Washington and the other 11 conference members on the TV via cable/satellite providers or streaming live over the internet. I was more than willing to pay a personal subcription fee, perhaps $10/month to have something legitimate and reliable.
When it was announced that you could go to the Pac-12 Network webpage and enter your zip code and service provider and get information about the availability of the network, I was disappointed to see that my provider Suddenlink Communications was not listed. So, I went ahead and clicked on the link that would “Send a Request”.
But, I did more than that. I took to Twitter demanding Suddenlink offer the network with the hashtag #Iwantpac12networks
— Jeff Taylor (@huskylenz) July 5, 2012
Then, I went ahead and I emailed Suddenlink asking whether they would be offering it at some time in the future. Here is their response:
“Dear Jeff Taylor,
Thank you for your email. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you today. At this time we do not have any plans to offer this service. Thank you for choosing Suddenlink.”
So, basically it was a big F-U from my wonderful internet provider based in Missouri. However, fittingly my monthly bill actually gets sent to Texas. Makes sense, of course, given that the Texas Longhorns gave the Pac-12 a big F-U with their demands for the Longhorn Network.
It wasn’t that I wanted Suddenlink to begin with. I tried to go with a local small business internet provider. But, after two months Suddenlink suddenly bought them out. Now I deal with random and frequent connectivity issues, increased monthly rates, and crappy customer service. I will definitely consider switching providers, but will there be any in Flagstaff who offer the Pac-12 network? According to the Pac-12 website the answer is NO. So, how does one leave out an entire city within the Pac-12’s footprint? Just because Northern Arizona University is in the Big Sky doesn’t mean there are not a lot of Pac-12 fans up there.
Anyways, I have read on the Pac-12 Network FAQ page that they have not yet been able to ice deals with Dish Network, DirecTV, UVerse, and several other providers they are in negotiations with. Thus, they remain limited to only four providers at this time; Comcast, Cox Cable, Time Warner Cable, and Brighthouse.
But, all of this frustration makes me wonder; how many other Pac-12 fans are getting the big middle finger and will STILL be unable to get the Pac-12 Network and watch the games they want to watch. Take the poll below.
Of the tens of millions of people within the Pac-12 footprint of California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, what percentage of the potential fanbase will be left out in the cold? How many thousands or millions of Pac-12 fans are there in the rest of the country or living overseas will be unable to watch their favorite team? That is certainly something I will be investigating in the near future and will give you the best estimate I can soon.
In addition, I will soon have up an interview with the Pac-12 Vice President for Communications Kirk Reynolds and the Pac-12’s plans for offering services to more fans around the country and around the world.