Sunday, July 17, 2005


UH expands

The package announced yesterday
includes Wahine volleyball
and Rainbow basketball

Six women's volleyball matches and three men's basketball games are part of the University of Hawaii sports pay-per-view package for 2005-06 announced by KHNL/KFVE yesterday.

The complete package includes six football games, for a total of 15 events. This is the fourth year of pay-per-view events for UH sports and the first time it is expanded beyond football games.

Also, several road events are among those available. They include football games at Idaho (Sept. 24) and San Jose State (Oct. 22), volleyball matches at the NACWAA Tournament, featuring Hawaii, Nebraska, Stanford and Penn State (Aug. 26 and 27), and the basketball game at UNLV (Nov. 22).

The complete package costs $200, or $175 for renewal buyers. (See chart on B5 for individual events.)

Order-taking begins July 26, via phone at 643-2337; digital cable customers can also order on their televisions. Pay-per-view season-ticket holders from last year will receive a postcard in the mail for renewal.

Pay-per-view games will be shown live and then replayed later the same day. Home pay-per-view events will be shown the next day on KFVE for free (but not the same night, as in previous years).

UH has made close to $2 million since pay-per-view was started in the 2002 football season, but critics say it has cut into live attendance at Warriors games.

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier and KHNL/KFVE general manager John Fink said they would experiment with volleyball and basketball pay-per-view.

"Our goal is to provide a more complete package at a reasonable price," Fink said. "We have taken a football-only concept which was just seven games in 2004 and grown it into a 15-event package covering three sports and special road events in women's volleyball and men's basketball that local viewers would traditionally not have seen."

In the previous pay-per-view contract, UH received 70 percent of the revenue from fees up to $1 million each year. Anything above was split evenly among UH, KHNL/KFVE and Oceanic Time Warner (which provides the delivery system for pay-per-view).

KHNL/KFVE agreed to a new three-year broadcast rights contract with UH last month, in which UH gets $1.75 million per year.

The previous contract was for only $700,000 per year, so UH is getting a smaller cut of the pay-per-view pie than before. The athletic department's five-year financial plan projects $1.8 million in TV contract revenue, including pay-per-view.

"We're still working on the actual split, but UH is included significantly after the first million," Fink said. "They got a higher guarantee, so they're not as concerned (with the pay-per-view percentage)."

Frazier said the new pay-per-view contract brings other benefits besides increased revenue.

"We're pleased that fans will be able to see UH road contests that would not have been available without pay-per-view," Frazier said. "These pay-per-view telecasts, combined with the 100-plus free telecasts on KFVE, will offer fans throughout the state of Hawaii with some quality entertainment and provide UH with some much-needed revenue and considerable exposure."

Other pay-per-view events, such as postseason matches and games, could be added, Fink said.

"Depending on interest and performance, we'll look at other games," Fink said. "For instance, if men's basketball gets off to a good start we'll definitely look at games such as at Nevada and at Fresno State."

Oceanic Time Warner, which had also put in a bid for the new UH television contract, continues in its previous role of delivering pay-per-view.

"The difference now is our previous deal was with UH, now it's with KFVE. This is strictly their deal, but we'll help sell it," Oceanic Time Warner president Nate Smith said.


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