With college football now in full swing and with basketball coming soon, an amazingly little-discussed travesty continues to mar the otherwise great play of Pacific-12 schools – the inability of fans across the conference to watch their school’s teams play.
In Los Angeles, the fact that the LA Dodgers’ games on SportsNetLA are unavailable to 60-70% of the area’s residents due to continuing battles between Time Warner Cable and various cable and satellite providers, in particular DirectTV, is a constant source of discussion and outrage. But, little is said about the continuing issue with the Pac-12
Network, now in its fifth year of operation, and dealing with even more widespread unavailability than the Dodgers’ network.
DirectTV and Charter Cable were the two biggest providers that had failed to make deals with these two entitles, but just about a year ago when the merger of Charter Cable and Time Warner was announced, almost immediately Charter began carrying SportsNetLA, providing access to Dodgers’ games to hundreds of thousands of new homes. No such deal has happened that has given any further access to Pacific-12 football, basketball, and other sports.
A week ago at the kickoff of the first weekend of NCAA football, here in Los Angeles, trojan and UCAL Bruins’ games were available for us all to view, being broadcast on major networks, but today, with the trojan scum playing Utah State and later today when the Bruins face UNLV, we in areas served by Charter Cable and with only such other services as DirectTV, Dish, and Verizon FIOS available to us, we are blacked out, yet again.
As I write this and as the university of spoiled children Klown Kollege is about to take the field against the Utah State Aggies, 16 different Charter Cable channels are broadcasting NCAA football games, none of them the trojan-Aggies game. At 5:00 pm, the UCLA Bruins will face UNLV, and Charter stations will be showing Tennessee v Virginia Tech, BYU v Utah, Northern Illinois v South Florida, Jacksonville State v LSU, North Carolina v Illinois, Arkansas State v Auburn, Eastern Michigan v Missouri, Arkansas v Texas Christian, South Carolina v Mississippi and New Mexico v New Mexico State, but NOT UCLA v UNLV.
This is totally unacceptable, and it appears no effort whatsoever is being done to remedy this absurd situation. At least with the Dodges, they are going to be showing their final games this season on an over-the-air station to at least give local fans a chance to see Vin Scully’s last days in the broadcast booth.
I recently became advised of yet another seemingly unimaginable problem with the Pac-12 Network. In an article written a couple of months back by Jason Bartel for azdesertswarm.com, he found the following: During the height of the 2015-2016 PAC-12 conference basketball season, instead of broadcasting key conference games, the local outlet in his area, Pac-12 Arizona, was showing its viewers RE-RUNS of old programing, such as previous gymnastic events. Then, he related, during the Pac-12 Tournament, the station did not broadcast any tournament games other than those of Arizona and Arizona State.
In June, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, when questioned about the status of the network, was quoted as saying “We keep working,… but I can’t promise something will happen”.
The scariest and most frustrating portion of Scott’s comments was when asked about just
when might there be a full resolution of these problems and he replied that it could be as long as eight more years.
EIGHT MORE YEARS?
I’ve written in the past about some of Scott’s worst failings, in particular when he ordered referees to change a ruling after a game had ended that had the result of negating a penalty and re-instating a scoring play so that Scott’s buddy the late Jerry Buss would win instead of lose a very large bet on the game.
How can Scott keep his job? It really is time for fans, students, alumni to say that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and force Scott out of the job that he has done so miserably for so long.