Ok, I know that I said this thread was basically meaningless and all (for the next 11 months), based on Pac-12 not having any more leverage until August of next year.
But I actually thought of something that would gain them leverage again, over DirecTV by or before then. If they decide to expand, quickly, with two more universities, and call themselves the Pac-14, then they might get on DirecTV by or before then. Send other employees in to do their negotiating with DirecTV, as the Pac-14 conference. As naive as DirecTV is (especially their common employee) at knowing about Pac football, then they would just think it's a completely different conference. That's how ignorant DirecTV will be. They don't know sh** about Pac football to begin with. They'll just assume it's a whole difference conference, and the negotiations can take place without the previous pride issues or bad blood to worry about. No previous grudge = better chance for deal.
So Pac needs to act quick.
Get two more on board (preferably east coast schools, since DirecTV cares about them a lot more). How about Syracuse and Rutgers? We're talking about the New York market right there, and DirecTV won't want to lose that.
DirecTV: "Hmmmm, Pac-14. Well, hopefully they're nicer to us in the negotiation process than that other conference was, the Pack-12 or whatever they were called again"
I'm not sure where you got the idea that they are unaware of the conference. You may want to look at where their corporate offices are located. Im sure there are a lot of fans of PAC-12 conference teams there. I'm also not sure why you believe industry leading executives would be confused by the addition of schools to a conference. This is a business decision. They aren't going to simply sign a deal they feel isn't right for them because a tiny fraction of their customers threaten to leave. The word is that DISH hasn't even experienced a lot of churn after dropping AMC. The lack of PAC-12 Network will have far less impact on DirecTV than losing AMC has had on DISH.
DirecTV has a reputation for taking their time and getting the deal right the first time so that the long term prospects are as positive as possible. Again, it's a business decision. When the two sides come to terms on a deal they can both agree upon, they will add the channel. The number of deals the network has with other providers is meaningless. Regional cable companies are far more dependent upon regional programming and it has a bigger impact on them if they don't add this channel. The only national provider to add it is DISH and they are desperate for positive press following a string of disappointments and a massive ($$$) court ruling that could come any day now. Those other providers had/have a greater financial risk by not adding the PAC-12 Network.