UH has options in latest television negotiations
University of Hawaii sports fans could see a similar television package in place the next academic year, athletic director Jim Donovan said this week.
KHNL/KFVE, the current rights-holder, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable have cooperated to distribute some UH sports (primarily football) on pay-per-view for the past six years. Donovan said Thursday an extension of the current three-year contract is an option.
He said he doesn't yet have a drop-dead date set in place for the completion of negotiations, but is optimistic an extension or new contract can be penned before June 30, when the current television and radio contracts expire.
"My understanding is that that situation (working together) is still being discussed," Donovan said. "I'm also optimistic that something will be worked out where, if they both want to go individually, then we'd be looking at a request for proposal kind of situation."
He added that there's "just a sense of urgency, but no specific set deadline. We could go all the way to the end of June, but I would also like to get it settled if possible."
The exclusive negotiating period for KFVE, the 25-year carrier of UH sports, ended Feb. 28. But general manager John Fink said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the negotiations, even though other parties, such as Oceanic, may now get involved.
He declined to comment on the details of the talks.
"We're in free-flow right now," Fink said. "We're just having regular conversations."
When asked if he thought the contract bidding was now anyone's game to win, Fink expressed confidence in KFVE's incumbent status.
"In theory yes, but we'd like to think we'll put together the best possible television package for all parties involved," he said.
One factor in negotiations could be providing free pay-per-view for season-ticket purchasers.
Oceanic vice president of operations Norm Santos was not available for comment yesterday.
The current deal, signed in 2005, nets UH $1.75-$2 million per year. This academic year, about 85 percent of UH's televised events were free on KFVE and the other 15 percent were on Oceanic's pay-per-view, Fink said.