Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No movement between Pac-12 Network and DirecTV

No news is bad news for DirecTV subscribers in Connecticut who are holding out hope that the Pac-12 Network can be added to the DirecTV channel lineup in time to watch the Dec. 31 UConn/Oregon game.

I received an email from the folks at the Pac-12 Conference with quotes from yesterday's media day and the subject of the negotiations between the Pac-12 Network (which will not relinquish rights to SNY to provide regional coverage of the game) and DirecTV came up in Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott's session with the media.

Here is what Scott had to say.

“It’s obviously a big deal since they reach so many sports fans across the country," Scott said. "There are no signs at the moment that they’re going to take it. It’s very frustrating to us, but I guess I can’t say, honestly, completely unexpected. No sports networks tend to launch with every distributor taking them from the get-go. When we decided to do this, we did a lot of due diligence with the Big 10 Network and their experience getting launched, with NBA TV, NFL Network, and everybody’s certainly watching now as the Lakers try to launch their own network. It doesn’t seem in this world that anyone ever launches with everyone, but we were fortunate to launch with a commitment from many of these cable operators from day one. We struck a deal with Time Warner, Comcast, Cox and Lighthouse in a year. It was on that basis that we were able to launch. Since then, Gary and the team have signed agreements with over 45 cable operators now, and DISH. That’s obviously a big deal, because now, obviously our fans all over the country, wherever they are, at least have an option along with cable.

"The way these deals work is we offer them a certain price per subscriber, and they’ve been offered the same price that DISH and the cable providers have been offered and that the cable operators pay. Right now, they’re simply not willing to pay that.  There are a few others as well that we’re still working on, but we’ve got a lot of confidence in the product. The caliber of football games that we have is really extraordinary. As an example, this upcoming weekend, we’ve got three of the top-20 teams in the country that are going to be on our Network, Oregon, Stanford and Oregon State, and you’ll see that when basketball season comes up, in both men’s and women’s basketball. We’ve got a lot of quality. We’ve got a lot of first picks and second picks. I certainly believe that over time, DirecTV will listen to their customers who have been hammering them. It’s frustrating that it’s not now, and we’re just encouraging our fans, if they feel they need it sooner than later, they’re going to explore other options, because it doesn’t appear that it’s going to happen any time soon.”

Jannah Tucker, who was on UConn's recruiting radar before she committed to Tennessee, made the surprising move of changing her mind and reopening her commitment.

One of the tweets I saw listed UConn among the top schools she was considering before committing to Tennessee. When I spoke to her at the junior national team training camp in Kissimmee, Fla. back in May before she committed I asked Ticker if UConn was actively recruiting her and she said "Yeah. I've heard from them."

However, Tucker never visited UConn (although she did sit with good friend and former AAU teammate Breanna Stewart when UConn played at Villanova last season) and it didn't seem like the UConn coaches were moving full speed ahead on the recruitment of Tucker. I don't have any sense of whether UConn will get involved in the pursuit of Tucker.

Personally, she was one of the nicest kids I dealt with during my time at the U-17 and U-18 training camp. From a basketball standpoint, she reminded me of Kelly Faris in terms of versatility. Tucker can rebound, pass, play defense, is willing to set screens, draw charges and was held in such high regard that she was named the captain of the U.S. U-16 team back in 2011. Tucker started all five games for the U.S. at the FIBA Americas U16 Championships. She was the sixth leading scorer, second in 3-pointers, rebounds, assists and minutes played and was third in steals for the U.S. team which went 5-0 in the tournament.

This past summer she was a member of the U.S. 18 team which won the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Unfortunately, she suffered a knee injury during the tournament which will sideline her for her senior season at New Town (Md.) High School. Tucker's teammates on the U-18 squad were current UConn freshmen Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck. Tucker's father told veteran Tennessee women's basketball beat writer Dan Fleser of the Knoxville News Sentinel that "Morgan (Tuck) has taken (Jannah) under her wing. That was huge, talking to Morgan about what to expect."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma and his staff have forgotten more about basketball than I will ever know but I can spot a player who fits the style of player and personality that the UConn coaches seem to prefer and in my opinion Tucker is a textbook example of a "Connecticut type of player" or as DePaul coach Doug Bruno likes to refer to it Tucker has that "UConn ilk."

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out since it is highly unusual for a top 10 player like Tucker to reopen the recruiting process this close to the start of the early signing period.

Fleser spoke with Tucker's dad who said the decommitment was due to "blatantly false" information coming from the outside.

This story keeps getting more bizarre by the minute. Maybe it's me but wouldn't you go to the Tennessee coaching staff to check up on this information rather than just put it out there that you are reopening the recruiting process? Hopefully Jannah ends up at the place she wants to spend the next four years.



Blogger Genosguy said...

Tucker and tuck will that be a back court duo?? It seems to me that Geno is doing a back door recruit with Tucker thru Tuck. Hope it works, she sounds like a winner.

6:33 PM 
Blogger Genosguy said...

As a Direct Customer, I hope they settle with the PAC 12. Getting to see UConn and Stanford and Oregon seems like a win, win, win.

6:35 PM 
Anonymous Joe said...


There was a story in Sports Illustrated in which Geno was quoted by the Hartford Courant as being in favor of a lower rim for women's basketball.

Do you have any insight on that subject to share with us?


9:01 AM 

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