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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

SNY to televise UConn women's games

After 18 years of CPTV being the home of UConn women's basketball, the university announced on Tuesday that SNY has won the bidding for the rights to the UConn games not contractually obligated to the ESPN brand or other stations.

While the final contract has yet to be signed, UConn announced that it has agreed to a four-year deal for SNY to be the regional television broadcast partner for UConn women's basketball.

“I am very excited that SNY will be our television home for the next four years,” UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “This agreement will continue to provide all of our loyal fans in the state of Connecticut an opportunity to watch our team play and will also help us develop a whole new group of UConn women’s basketball fans throughout the Northeast and the entire nation. SNY will also allow us to showcase UConn women’s basketball to a larger audience, which will support our recruiting efforts and help us maintain the level of success in our program.”

SNY, CPTV and Fox 61 were the finalists in the bidding for the rights to UConn women's basketball games.

“We’re thrilled to become the official TV home of UConn women’s basketball, the preeminent women’s basketball program in the nation,” said Steve Raab, President of SNY, in a statement. “This is a landmark partnership and a special opportunity for SNY. Our unmatched distribution, unprecedented programming commitment, and live game production experience provides us the unique opportunity to help maintain and grow UConn's leadership position.”

SNY will devote approximately 325 hours of coverage annually to UConn women’s basketball. In addition to the live games, there will be game replays, an in-season weekly coach’s show and a new program called “Geno’s Legacy.” This program, which would have 2-3 episodes annually, would feature interviews with former UConn players who have played a major role in the history of the program and highlight what these players are now doing in their lives.

Obviously there are some details to be worked out. First, is which games will be televised. When I spoke to Big East associate commissioner Danielle Donehew last month she thought the 2012-13 scheduled for all the Big East teams would come out around Labor Day, which is standard operating procedure. SNY will have the option of carrying any regular season UConn game whose rights are not awarded to another network or station. The announcing team will have to be announced and it will be worth watching to see if SNY offers an online streaming option which became an incredibly popular part of the CPTV package.

One question I plan on addressing between now and the start of the season with the folks at SNY who have been very approachable during this process is what happens when a schedule conflict arises. For example, say SNY has the choice between showing the Georgetown/St. John's men's basketball game or the UConn women's basketball game against Seton Hall, which one of those games will be shown on a tape delay process. That was never an issue on CPTV and perhaps it won't be one with SNY either but we will have to wait and see about that.

There's no way of quantifying what CPTV has meant to the growth of the UConn women's basketball program. Eighteen years ago there were more than a few people scratching their heads when word got out that CPTV was planning to cover UConn women's basketball games. Over the last 18 years it has been a partnership which has thrived. There's no question that SNY has pretty big shoes to fill and considering that acquiring the rights is said to cost more than $1 million per year, you would have to think that SNY is going to do what it can to step up to the plate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a fan living in California, I hope that SNY will provide streaming Internet access for the women's games. I have enjoyed watching the women's basketball on CPTV and hope not to be left out by the new agreement, especially with such a talented group of players to watch.


11:32 AM 

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