POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 3, 2011
The University of Hawaii and the Big West Conference plan to look at ways the school can continue its pay-per-view package when it switches leagues in 2012.
"Jim (Donovan, UH athletic director) and I will sit down and lay out what is important to them and see if we can marry up that package with Fox and our other entities," said Dennis Farrell, Big West commissioner.
The Big West's three-year agreement with Fox expires this spring, and Farrell said negotiations will resume shortly.
UH's impending moves from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference in football and to the Big West in most other sports in 2012 puts the status of the school's lucrative nine-year-old PPV operation up in the air, officials have said.
UH receives approximately $2.5 million per year from its local TV rights agreement with Oceanic Time Warner Cable and KFVE, of which PPV is a key element.
The MWC, unlike the WAC, controls all TV rights of member institutions. But the Big West's TV deal gives its partners first shot at the games and permits local distribution of other events.
In addition to showing UH home games here, Farrell said another possibility is showing them in California.
The Big West's current deal with Fox guarantees eight regular-season men's basketball games and the women's tournament championship game. ESPN does eight men's games, including the championship game. In addition it does four other sports.
Farrell said the conference hopes the addition of UH will make it more appealing to both Fox and ESPN. For one thing, Farrell said, having UH at a 2- to 3-hour time difference than the rest of the California-based conference may prove more attractive.
Farrell declined to say how much the conference receives in rights fees but it is believed to be in the neighborhood of $100,000 per year.