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Pac-12 Network Is Suing Dish for Breach of Contract

  • The complaint alleges Dish Network committed a breach of contract for “withholding” licensing fees.
  • Meanwhile, the Pac-12 is negotiating a new media rights contract.
Pac-12
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the middle of negotiations for its next media rights package, the Pac-12 Network has filed a lawsuit against Dish Network.

  • The complaint alleges Dish Network “erroneously claims” that the Pac-12 Network owes refunds for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
  • As a result, Dish Network has begun “withholding” licensing fees — an alleged breach of contract.
  • It’s unclear how much Dish Network is withholding, as certain parts of the lawsuit documents were redacted.

The Pac-12 Network acknowledged that it paid Dish Network a rebate for the 2020 season, which was curtailed due to the pandemic.

The Pac-12 Conference declined to comment on the lawsuit. Dish Network did not respond to a request for comment.

Media Rights Blitz

While the Pac-12 and Dish Network battle in court, the conference office is negotiating what it hopes will be a media rights package lucrative enough to keep members from defecting — and potentially attract new members.

Following news that USC and UCLA would join the Big Ten, Pac-12 schools authorized commissioner George Kliavkoff to begin negotiating a new media deal earlier than planned — a push which hasn’t been successful so far. 

The Pac-12 reportedly asked for “hundreds of millions” more than ESPN was willing to pay. Last week, the exclusive negotiating window with ESPN and FOX passed without a deal.

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