Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, June 13, 2001


WAC TV contracts
with two channels
still on hold

ESPN considers televising
Hawaii games, according
to a conference official

By Paul Arnett

A decision concerning the Western Athletic Conference's pending television contracts with ESPN and Fox Sports has been postponed until at least next week.

Associate Commissioner Jeff Hurd said yesterday that one of the reasons for the delay was that contract language was being worked out by lawyers for all sides.

Also, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson will be on vacation for the remainder of the week.

"It's slow going," Hurd said. "It doesn't mean we've hit a major snag or anything like that. I believe it will be worked out for the best of our league and we'll have a contract in place that will help with our exposure in football and men's basketball."

Although no details have been formally announced, it's believed ESPN will handle the national phase of the contract and possibly some regional broadcasts. Fox Sports, which did a half-dozen national games for the conference last year, will likely handle only regional matchups in the future.

The University of Hawaii currently has a deal with Fox Sports West to broadcast the Warriors' home football games in Southern California via its arrangement with KFVE (Channel 5).

UH head coach June Jones believes this is vital to recruiting in the Los Angeles area.

Hurd said ESPN is considering Hawaii for several games, including its Oct. 27 date with Fresno State and its final two home games with Mountain West schools Brigham Young University and the Air Force Academy.

"Hawaii has some attractive matchups ESPN is interested in," Hurd said. "But I can't give out any details of the deal until it's finalized.

"Hopefully, it will all be done before the end of the month. We'll have a conference call with the presidents to give them the final details and then we'll go from there."

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