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UH football may keep TV deal with conference network demise

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 01:42 p.m. HST, Apr 05, 2012

The Mtn. television network will shut down next month, possibly opening a door for the University of Hawaii to keep its lucrative pay-per-view operations for the 2012 football season.

The Mtn. is being shut down May 31 by its owners, NBC Sports and CBS Sports Network, who hold the Mountain West Conference TV contract, the conference said today.

The Mtn.'s historical reluctance to relinquish local TV rights had been point of contention with MWC members over the years and was viewed as a major road block to UH continuing to sell its pay-per-view TV package locally once it joins the MWC July 1.

UH receives an average of about  $2.5 million a year through its local TV and PPV rights.

"Based upon conference discussion, I'm hopeful that this is a step towards being able to have some inventory for Hawaii football pay-per-view this year," UH athletic director Jim Donovan told the Star-Advertiser.

"This is likely a step in the right direction but there are probably a few steps needed," he said. 

The change comes as the MWC and Conference USA negotiate with their TV partners toward a merger for 2013.

MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson said, "This is simply one step in the ongoing, evolutionary process which is focused on developing a new organization and structure for our member institutions. The goals continue to be creating greater stability, broader exposure platforms and increased revenue, and we are progressing in each of those areas with the appropriate parties." 

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kainalu wrote:
Any way to seperate fans from their money. I've had the Mtn West station as part of my programming for the past 5-years or so. It's beyond disappointing that now UH is in the conference, the station folds. Any way to seperate the fan from their money.
on April 5,2012 | 12:23PM
primowarrior wrote:
So true. College sports is no longer about institutions, students, fans, and competition. It's all about money, like so many other things these days.
on April 5,2012 | 12:31PM
lani_moo wrote:
Sick and tired of these cheapo fans that keep talking about supporting the team. All they want is free TV. When was the last time you even bought a ticket to see the game? You probably just go to a bar or go to your buddies house to see the game for free on TV. To support the team you have to pay, either at the stadium or on pay per view. The money goes to the team!
on April 5,2012 | 04:08PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
You tell 'em Lani. Get yer cheap okoles to the stadium and SUPPORT your team.
on April 5,2012 | 08:03PM
Dragonman wrote:
I have to agree with both of your posts, they no longer care about the fans, its all about the money. Its like our elected officials in congress, they only care about keeping their jobs and giving themselves raises. We alreadly support the University of Hawaii with our tax money, you would think we neighbor island fans would be able to watch some games for free but no, we have to wait for espn to pick up a game and hope they don't black it out in Hawaii. They are just destroying their fan base throughout Hawaii. If no can see, why follow them or buy ther products like t-shirts ect.
on April 5,2012 | 12:43PM
kawika72 wrote:
Money, money, money!!! That's all it has become about. Forget about the Hawaii fans. It is no longer about you. It's a business and the "bottom line" is the only thing that's important! TOO BAD! No more, being able to cheer on your team. Only if you're willing to pay for that privilege.
on April 5,2012 | 12:57PM
Bumby wrote:
Comcast playing hard ball now has no balls to play with. Not to bright whoever was in charge and having a take it or leave it attitude. Must always work with the win win attitude for all those involved. The me, I and myself is very self destructive.
on April 5,2012 | 02:11PM
flyingpigs wrote:
I think UH fans need to realize what the University is up against in terms of TV rights fees. The BCS schools get anywhere from $12 million to up to $20 million per school (probably higher for PAC 10 & SEC) for broadcast rights. If Hawaii fans want to demand that their team compete with those programs, PPV is just a small part of getting there. With that kind of money, the BCS schools can fund all the smaller athletic teams so that they can compete at a higher level because they can attract the better athletes to come or stay in state. That's why on the national women's vball scene all the mid west schools are becoming so successful. Before it was West Coast dominated, then Florida & Texas starting building their programs and now you have Nebraska, Penn St, Illinois, Florida St, Iowa St & Purdue all ranked in the top 10 this past season. Fans need to understand that supporting UH isn't about getting to watch games for free on TV, they also need to attend a few 2-3 games a season to help for different sports, it's not your right to get it all for free.
on April 5,2012 | 02:18PM
LizKauai wrote:
Correction- how about feeding neighbor island season ticket holder Dish Network subscribers some UH Sports!
on April 5,2012 | 02:22PM
LizKauai wrote:
Yeah... well... how about feeding us Dish Network subscribers some UH Sports!
on April 5,2012 | 02:21PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Get on Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
on April 5,2012 | 08:02PM
roughrider wrote:
Surprised at the reaction. What am I missing? Would you rather the MWC/USA alliance stay with Mtn. TV or maybe sign a more lucrative deal with … say ESPN. Is the Mtn channel even available to us in Hawaii? Would you rather risk having no UH football road games on TV this year, or have the option of watching (and, yes, paying) for that privilege? I think if the new alliance can sign with a more national broadcast system like ESPN, it will mean bigger bucks for the schools and greater exposure for the athletes. Can you imagine if you're recruiting a player to come to Hawaii, and he asks: "My parents are worried they may not get to watch me play. Are the Hawaii games on TV? They're on the Mtn. channel? What is that?" Oh, well, on to the next recruit.
on April 5,2012 | 02:32PM
flyingpigs wrote:
I was commenting on the previous comments that were down on the whole PPV deal and how it's going to cost them money to watch the FB games. I'm all for getting a big money contract from ESPN of the MWC next season and then the merged MWC/CUSA. That would solve everyones issues with PPV. I think the reality of this is that ESPN isn't going to give the MWC a lot of money for one season of sports. There's no one left in the conference next year to make a big offer for. BSU & TCU are gone, no BYU or Utah, so you're really left with the old WAC. The following year with the merge, again there's no big names left for ESPN to make a big money play for, plus with 14-16 teams to divide the money up with, there really won't be much there for anyone. I think the only way to get a decent payday for all the schools is for the merger to force the BCS to guarantee the champion a spot in a BCS bowl and each school also getting some kind of payout from the bowl. ESPN does not equal big bucks, if that was the case, then Nev, Boise St, FSU & Hawaii would have never left the WAC which has a ESPN contract. As for the Mtn, it was the MWC attempt to look like a big conference, which it kind of did, it's just that the Mtn channel just never took off.
on April 5,2012 | 03:09PM
johngrif wrote:
Wasn't the Mountain West TV contract the major stumbling block in getting Notre Dame this year??? Jim get on the horn and make it happen!
on April 5,2012 | 07:15PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Money, money, money
on April 5,2012 | 07:30PM
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