Pac-12 turns down AT&T carriage deal

The Pac-12 has rejected a proposal from AT&T that would have allowed the US telecommunications company’s DirecTV satellite pay-television service to carry coverage of the US college conference.

AT&T, which took control of DirecTV this summer, had proposed the broadcaster begin carrying Pac-12 Networks, the pay-television channels dedicated to covering the conference.

However, a source close to the talks told the San Jose Mercury News newspaper that the Pac-12 had walked away from negotiations after AT&T requested an equity stake in Pac-12 Networks. AT&T also wanted an enhanced presence within the grounds of the universities that compete in the Pac-12.

Pac-12 presidents and chancellors ruled that the AT&T requests would have compromised the network’s business model and long-term profitability.

If the agreement had gone ahead, Pac-12 would have been forced to renegotiate existing distribution deals with other broadcasters at a lower subscription rate, according to reports.

Despite talks having broken down, the source did not rule out the possibility of AT&T returning with a different offer.