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UH ATHLETICS


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Choice coming to pay-per-view

Hawaiian Telcom is negotiating with Oceanic to show UH football games

By Ferd Lewis

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:41 a.m. HST, Jun 29, 2011



For the first time, University of Hawaii football fans figure to have a choice of pay-per-view outlets.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Hawaiian Telcom are preparing to offer packages this season.

Bob Barlow, president of Oceanic, the UH rights holder, said parent company Time Warner is in negotiations with Hawaiian Telcom on an affiliate agreement that would allow both entities to show the games. Barlow said Hawaiian Telcom was negotiating only for PPV rights and he was not aware of interest by any other video programming providers.

A spokesman for DirecTV said, "We have not discussed carriage and, as with any other channel, we'd have to evaluate the content and demand among our customers."

The price for Oceanic's PPV package, which also would include some men's and women's basketball events, has not been announced. Barlow said he expects Oceanic's offering to be similar to last year's. Oahu renewal subscribers were charged $420 for a 19-event package in 2010.

As for Hawaiian Telcom, Barlow said, "We'll come up with a price that is fair for carrying UH football and how they position it will be completely up to them."

Hawaiian Telcom declined comment on its plans, except to say, "We will share product and programming specifics of our TV service when the commercial introduction commences and as our rollout progresses."

Hawaiian Telcom was granted a 15-year cable license last week by the state that will allow it to offer video over its phone lines to Oahu customers. A U.S. District Court decision in Washington, D.C., earlier this month opened the way for the sharing of regional sports programming.

Oceanic, in partnership with KFVE, has operated PPV since 2002. But this year, Oceanic takes over local rights, moving UH sports exclusively to cable. It also is preparing to launch a UH channel to show a variety of the school's sports and content.

Barlow said Oceanic will do approximately 100 UH events a year. All the games, except for the PPV package, will be available as part of Oceanic's basic package, Oceanic said. Barlow said most customers who had the basic plan last year, "won't notice a difference at all."

Under the terms of its contract, UH is guaranteed a minimum of $2.3 million from Oceanic, but can earn more based on graduated levels of sales.

"The more customers who take it (PPV), the more, potentially, UH will realize out of that," Barlow said.

For 2010, UH received $2.45 million, the school said.






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