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Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott uses ‘real candor' in DirecTV discussion

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has a sorry plight. Since launching his brand's television arm - Pac-12 Networks - on Aug. 15 of last year, Scott has been unable to reach carriage terms with DirecTV, the nation's most subscribed satellite television service.

And, as he has in the past, Scott sounded off on Thursday at Pac-12 basketball media day, using the ‘real candor' he feels conference fans deserve on the issue.

Scott began his bit on Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV by talking about the purpose of the network.

"We love, through the network, to showcase events and programming that's meaningful to the fans," he said. "Peeling back the curtain and give them a much more in-depth understanding of what's happening with our teams … Really creating those direct connections with the fans, giving fans more of what they want.

"And it's also amazing for our fans that are able to get it."

Although the network is carried by Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House and AT&T U-Verse -- along with a handful of smaller cable providers around the country -- Scott and his team at the Pac-12 headquarters in San Francisco have so far been unsuccessful in negotiations with DirecTV.

"But we realize not all Pac-12 fans are able to get the Pac-12 Network at this point in time," he went on.

"That's our ultimate goal, and it certainly remains a great source of frustration for us that DirecTV continues to refuse to give Pac-12 fans that are subscribers access to the Pac-12 Networks, and we won't rest until they and any others that aren't carrying it do decide to carry it."

The commissioner and other Pac-12 executives last met with DirecTV representatives in July, during football media week. The satellite provider released a statement on its website around that time saying it was willing to listen to negotiations if the conference would "propose a deal that's fair."

Scott has fired shots of his own, urging fans to switch carriers and outspokenly betraying his frustration with the situation, as he did in a reiteration on Thursday.

"Our fans have been very patient," said Scott. "I know they're frustrated, I share their frustration and we're going to keep working diligently in terms of whatever we can do from our end to try to make that happen."

And, as if to give qualification to his candid comments, Scott later let media in on his reasoning for publicly sharing his feelings for DirecTV."

"I feel like we owe our fans real candor," he said. "Our team has continued to try to approach DirecTV and try to convince them to carry it, so far to no avail."

Not surprisingly, the commissioner concluded his session on a not-so-positive note, saying he didn't expect much to change in the relationship, again issuing a charge to fans to switch cable providers.

"The impasse continues," he said, "and we certainly have no expectation that (DirecTV) is going to carry the network anytime soon, not during basketball season, so again, like we did before football, we'll urge our fans that are serious about wanting to follow every game from their favorite team -- again, every team is going to be on the network exclusively at least a dozen times, this season, with a lot of meaningful games.

"We urge those fans that don't want to miss to switch to a carrier that does carry the Pac-12 Networks."

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