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[December 31, 2012]
UCONN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Large number of Husky fans won't get to watch game against Oregon on television
EUGENE, Ore., Dec 30, 2012 (New Haven Register - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Somewhere between 3-6 p.m. Monday, UConn women's basketball fans may realize that having a game "relegated" to be televised on ESPNU isn't such a bad option after all.
Two days after the showdown between No. 1 Stanford and second-ranked Connecticut was shown on ESPNU rather than on either ESPN or ESPN2, a large pocket of television viewers in the Northeast will be unable to watch their beloved Huskies in the comfort of their homes.
SNY, which is in the first season as the regional television partner of UConn women's basketball, tried in vain to secure the rights to show UConn's game at Oregon Monday afternoon. However, SNY was not able to strike a deal with the Pac-12 Network so the game will only be available on the relatively new network.
"We can't do one (event). It just doesn't really work for the partners," said Kirk Reynolds, vice president for communications for the Pac-12 Network. "We've been in that position several times throughout the year with certain markets wanting to pick off individual games, and that is not the way the network is set up. That is really the issue." DISH Network, Comcast and Time Warner are among the providers which carry the Pac-12 Network but there is no guarantee that the Pac-12 Network is available on those providers nationwide, so the best move would be to go onto the Pac-12 Network channel finder website.
The good news is that the Pac-12 Network has hit the ground running, so a game like today's will be available to more viewers than some stations not as quick to come to agreements with cable and satellite dish companies.
"We have over 50 providers now that are carrying the network so distribution has actually been pretty good," Reynolds said. "I don't think there has ever been a network that has started with complete distribution. There have always been folks that are slower to get on than others. Certainly the NFL Network is certainly as example of that. They just did a deal with Time Warner after 10 years I think. A complete distribution never happens in year one but the feedback that we have gotten from all the carriers that have us now has been very good. Their customers have loved it and we anticipate adding quite a few more. We are talking to folks daily, particularly we get a lot from fans asking about DirecTV, we are in communication with them on pretty much a daily basis. We are working on expanding and being more distributed in the future to be sure." With UConn expected to become the No. 1 team when the new Associated Press poll is released Monday, suddenly the game has even more meaning for the people at the Pac-12 Network.
"It is fantastic, and it speaks to the commitment our conference and our teams have playing the best," Reynolds said. "UConn, having them on our network is going to be a treat for women's basketball fans without a doubt and it will be fun for everyone to get a chance to see how good they are." In the future the Pac-12 will offer a live streaming option which will permit viewers who do not have the Pac-12 Network to see a feed of the game. However, at the current time the only live feeds are available through providers carrying the Pac-12 Network. Reynolds said the plan is to show 850 sporting events on the network and offer live streams for an additional 1,400 events not being televised.
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