The following is a "Guest Opinion" published in today's Medford Mail Tribune authored by
Frank Antonovich , vice president and general manager of Charter-Northwest
Charter's business is providing programming customers are interested in and want to watch. So, why wouldn't we want to provide Pac-12 Network, a network aligned so closely with Pac-12 teams, to our customers in Pac-12 Conference states?
We do.When the Pac-12 universities moved games that were available on other TV stations and sports networks in years past to its own network, it was for one reason — money. These tax-payer-supported universities are now demanding an additional "tax payment" from each TV household for a handful of games previously free on local broadcast television.A Charter customer recently told Mail Tribune reporter Dan Jones that he would like to see Charter at least offer a pay-per-view option for Pac-12 games.So would we.Pac-12 Network refused our offer to provide the games On Demand or allow us to offer games only to customers who want it, as the reader suggested.Pac-12 Network has demanded a high price and placement on Charter's Expanded Basic level of service (which includes nearly all Charter customers) at a significant cost per customer each and every month. This would make Pac-12 one of the most expensive programming services on Charter's lineup, which would surely influence the price of our service to all customers, not just Pac-12 fan customers.We have suggested other alternatives which would allow carriage for those desiring to support these teams, while protecting those who don't have the wherewithal to do so.ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, NBC, CBS SportsNet and FX will continue to provide the majority of Pac-12 Conference televised events, including most marquee conference match-ups. So, the cost demands from Pac-12 Network do not match up with the contests they plan to provide.We believe it's important for you to know that Charter has successfully negotiated agreements with many other sports programmers, including Big Ten Network.The Pac-12 Network's proposed terms and conditions are much less favorable than any of those agreements. In fact, the Pac-12 tax-payer-supported universities are requesting that Charter pay higher prices for their network than what has been agreed to with other area providers serving your neighbors in nearby communities.It's a shame to have our customers placed in the midst of this negotiation; however, that's where the Pac-12 clearly wants them.Frank Antonovich is vice president and general manager of Charter-Northwest
(Check out the Charter Baloney Part II above. )