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July 12, 2006 at 4:54 PM

TV beckons Huskies

The University of Washington and FSN announced an extension and some slight changes to their working agreement today. Here’s the official release from the UW web site.
I’ll try here to answer a few questions you may have about this.
Does this mean more football and basketball games will be on TV?
Probably, but it doesn’t guarantee every game will be on TV.
As a Fox spokesman told me, however, this agreement now means Fox has both the “right and the obligation” to do what it can to get as many games on TV as possible.
Still, Pac-10 TV agreements take precedence and there may be times when there isn’t an available time slot for a game to get on TV.
If a game is on the road, for instance, and there is a conflict and the host team doesn’t want to move the time so it can be televised, then it won’t be televised. This is what happened with the football game last year at Oregon that wasn’t on TV because the Ducks declined to change the time to 7 p.m. That cost UW $100,000.
Last year, seven of UW’s 12 football games and 22 of the 33 men’s basketball games were televised. All but four of the Pac-10 conference basketball games were televised, so UW is already getting some pretty good exposure. Still, this should only help.
One caveat — there still may be times where there will be conflicts with the Sonics, who are also an FSN property.
How many 2006 football games are slated for TV?
As of today, just two — the Oklahoma (ABC) and Washington State (FSN) games.
Two others — Fresno State and Oregon State — are also likely to be picked up by FSN though each may need a time change.
That leaves eight others unaccounted for.
But it is still early in the process and others are sure to be picked up by ABC or FSN. I’d think USC, Oregon, Cal and UCLA are all prime candidates.
This agreement now means Fox will apparently work harder at getting those games on.
Is UW getting more money for this?
Yes, though it hasn’t yet been made public how much.
What happens to the Sunday afternoon football replays?
Those are apparently gone, which won’t be popular with those who liked having a chance to watch the game with a different perspective a day later. But part of this agreement is that every game may be televised live, so there is less reason for a replay.
UW was the last team to have its games replayed on Sundays with FSN having dropped those for WSU and Oregon State in recent seasons.
The agreement also calls for half-hour shows featuring Lorenzo Romar and Tyrone Willingham. But neither may be the traditional coaches’ show — the coaches talking while highlights play, etc. — though details are still being worked out.
The football program has been featured in a half-hour show on FSN the last few years, so this isn’t really anything new there. But this is something new for basketball.
What does this mean for other Husky sports?
This agreement does not include women’s basketball or the so-called Olympic sports — baseball, softball, etc. Some of those games may still be on FSN as part of the Pac-10 agreement with the network. But the Huskies now also have the ability to farm out games in those sports to other networks if they can find an interested party. One option may be Comcast.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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