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January 28, 2008 at 5:23 PM

Explaining Fox’s decision

Got a hold of a spokesman for Fox Sports today who explained why the network did not change to the UW-Arizona game on Saturday until the conclusion of the Maryland-North Carolina women’s game Saturday.
As is often the case, it’s not as simple as just one guy not flipping the right switch or something.
Instead, the biggest factor is that both of the games were national games, meaning they were on the entire FSN network, and not just regional games. That meant the decision was a national decision and not just a regional decision. It was decided to stick with the women’s game heading into the first overtime hoping that it wouldn’t cut much out of the men’s game. When it went two OTs, the network felt little choice but to stay with the women’s game not wanting to disservice those who had already watched more than two hours of that game.
The spokesperson explained that had they been regional games, the regional FSN network (in this case, FSN-NW) would have had some more options, such as maybe going to a split screen or a running crawl. Being a network telecast, a lot of those options weren’t available.
Also a consideration was that the UW-Arizona game was available on Fox College Sports. For what it’s worth, the spokesman explained that since this was a national decision, those in Arizona also didn’t see the beginning of the game, point being it wasn’t just UW fans who were inconvenienced.
In general, it was explained that this is one of the hazards of being in the live sports business and having a number of games back-to-back. Next time, apparently, it could be handled differently.

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