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Pac-12 launches campaign to get fans to drop DirecTV

Aug 12, 2013, 5:43 PM EDT

Sean Miler

The Pac-12 Conference and DirecTV are currently in stiff talks for the satellite provider to carry its Pac-12 Network.

Looks like things have melted down to the point where the conference is throwing barbs. Hard ones.

The Pac-12 is trying to convince fans of teams in the conference to drop DirecTV. That way, fans with the satellite provider actually have a shot at seeing Pac-12 games this season.

They’ve launched a campaign and entitled it, ‘It’s time to switch,” which includes a number of commercials aimed at slinging mud at DirecTV.

“We realize this is affecting many of our fans, and we share their frustration,” said Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans. “We built the Pac-12 Networks to give fans unprecedented access to their favorite teams and sports on TV, and with just two weeks before the fall sports schedule begins, DirecTV continues to deny them that access.”

The campaign includes a series of university-specific 30-second TV and digital spots as well as print and outdoor executions to rally Pac-12 fans and be upfront with DirecTV subscribers. Unless they switch, DirecTV subscribers will miss 750 live Pac-12 sporting events, up from 550 a year ago, including 35 football games and nearly half of all league games. The creation of new shows like The Drive, a 14-part docu-series offering an exclusive look inside the 2013 football season, Pac-12 Sports Report, the flagship studio show providing fans a complete weekly dose of all Pac-12 sports, and Pac-12 Football Weekly, guarantee fans the most in-depth highlights, analysis and behind-the-scenes original programming of all Pac-12 teams on television.

You can watch all the ads here. All Pac-12 teams have their own gimmick spot. They even have a link to show Pac-12 fans how to drop DirecTV. The ads are essentially (and playfully) telling customers that they will only see real (insert mascot here)’s on DirecTV, showing pictures of real wildcats, ducks, buffalo, etc.

This is a pretty aggressive approach from a conference. Though with the rise in television revenue being one of the main players in conference realignment, it’s understandable why a conference would be upset that the channel they worked to create isn’t getting any play on satellite. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see if there’s enough interest in the network for fans to follow suit. And if DirecTV would crack if the campaign actually did enough to put a dent in their subscriptions.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

  1. bat42boy - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    I live in Ohio and would like to have the PAC-12 conference games (football and basketball). However, my feeling is that the network should pay DirecTV to broadcast there programs not the other way around. All the networks have it ass backwards. They can get their money from the advertising dollars not off of the poor watching community. If they think they are so good then they should pay the cable and satellite providers to broadcast their programs. It only makes sense. That way our rates would go down instead of up.

  2. brianjoates - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Are they offering a solution for these fans on how to get the nfl ticket, and beloved red zone?

  3. mondzy805 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I live in the 805. Trojans supporter and always wil be. But, I won’t change cable networks just because Larry Scott wants me to. Until DirectTv owns the rights to All NFL games, they call the shots. So, until then, I will never switch back to Time Warner Cable just for the Pac12 network. Plus, no CBS channels, CBS, KCAL and Showtime to name a Few.

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