Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, June 9, 1999

W E S T E R N _ A T H L E T I C

Fox will show
WAC football,

It will broadcast up to 18
football and 40 basketball
games in the next 2 years

Star-Bulletin staff and wire reports


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Fox Sports Net will televise up to 18 Western Athletic Conference football games and 40 basketball games live over the next two seasons, WAC commissioner Karl Benson announced yesterday.

The agreement, which also carries a three-year extension option, was approved by the WAC board of directors at its annual meeting in Napa Valley, Calif., the league said in a news release.

"What this is about is establishing a long-term relationship with Fox," said University of Hawaii President Kenneth Mortimer. "We think it will grow over time."

Benson called the agreement with Fox "a major and important step for the television future of the Western Athletic Conference and its eight member institutions."

For football, Fox has agreed to televise up to three national and five regional games the first year, and five national and five regional games the second year.

One of the games Fox may be interested in is the Rainbows' season opener against USC, which means Fox could ask that the game be moved to Friday afternoon.

Mortimer sees that as unlikely.

"Our rights now belong to Fox," said Mortimer. "But we've already told people we weren't going to move the game. It doesn't make sense with rush hour traffic."

For basketball, the deal calls for three to five national and 15 regional games both years, according to the WAC. It includes the national telecast of the men's tournament championship game.

"The competitiveness of the WAC and its intense regional rivalries have national implications on the rankings each year," Fox Sports Net executive vice president Arthur Smith said in the release.

In other news from the meetings, Mortimer said an announcement would come at today's final press conference regarding expansion. Nevada, Boise State and Utah State were mentioned in expansion talks.

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