It is better for Pac-12 to get a contract for delivery to all DirecTV customers (or as many as possible) than to work against themselves and satisfy the customers most likely to continue to put pressure on DirecTV to complete the deal.
Online content is part of their carriage arrangements with providers. Offering it without a cable/satellite subscription would undercut their partners.
A couple of hundred bucks? More like a few hundred bucks or over $1000 ... Where are you finding ATSC modulators (not demodulators or tuners, but a device that creates an ATSC signal) for a couple hundred bucks?
It would also create the same problem as the first proposal ... if Pac-12 makes you happy would you keep complaining to DirecTV and help get Pac-12 delivered to all of DirecTV's subscribers (whether they want the channels or not)?
Pac-12 is not looking to make $10 here and $10 there on their network. They are looking to make $20 million or more by being added to DirecTV. If Pac-12 was willing to accept $10 per month for a relatively few subscribers they would sell their channel a la carte via DirecTV. They do not want to offer their channel that way.
Those million people would be better off telling DirecTV to accept Pac-12's offer or telling Pac-12 to lower their price. I believe you have overestimated the market ... while you may find a million DirecTV customers who want Pac-12, finding a million who would pay hundreds of dollars for additional equipment and subscription fees is more difficult.
Of course the Pac 12 Network would be better off if Directv agreed to a deal. But on their own website they say that is not going to happen. So getting this out there, while not as good as a deal with Directv, is certainly better than nothing.
A quick online search is all it took to find this HD modulator:http://www.hometech..../cp-5415hd.html
It's about $800, but it's also being sold by people who are in the business of making money by selling electronics that they bought from someone else. That money changes hands several times over between the manufacturer and the end user, with everyone taking a sizable cut.
The Pac 12 would be more interested in the monthly fee, so they wouldn't have to make any money on the hardware. Kind of like Microsoft when the first Xbox came out. The PS3 was significantly more expensive while made of fewer and cheaper electronics. Microsoft figured they'd make it up in fees collected from Xbox Live, and it was a smashing success.
The electronics themselves are not very expensive to manufacture. You simply go to the universities, tell them to have their students design a working model, and take that design to a Chinese manufacturing company. It could be done for a couple hundred bucks.
You could also tell Dish Network to make it and give Dish a few bucks per subscriber. They make the Slingbox so they have virtually everything in place already. I'm sure they'd be happy to take the money.
The point is, this late in the game, anyone willing to leave Directv over this has already left. There is no more pressure on Directv. It's more expensive to leave (for some, me for example with 7 DVRs) than the Pac 12 Network understands. And what they are apparently downplaying is the importance of NFL Sunday Ticket to most sports fans. The NFL is the most popular sport in the nation, and you can't get the NFL Sunday Ticket anywhere else. There are plenty of Pac 12 players in the NFL that Pac 12 fans would want to follow, in addition to their own favorite team and fantasy football players.
There's an old saying in sales, "50% of something is better than 100% of nothing." The Pac 12 has come to grips with the fact that their network won't be on Directv. Their own website says so. So here is their opportunity to get at least some revenue, and get their schools available to be seen in millions of additional homes.
Edited by BlackDynamite, 10 August 2014 - 10:21 AM.