Wildcats Network

The Tucson Citizen reported yesterday that a new “Wildcats TV Network” will begin broadcasting on September 5th with the Wildcats’ non-conference football match-up against Central Michigan. With negotiations failing between Fox Sports Arizona and the Wildcats, this was only a logical step. You can check out the details of how it will work here or watch it here.

While the PAC-10 is responsible for the contract with Fox Sports to cover the conference games, it is the individual Athletic Directors that work out the contracts for the non-conference coverage. Typically I’m not a big fan of Livengood’s actions and choices, but I think this one is a step in the right direction. This will be the first network of its kind. There are conference networks, like the Big Ten Network that gives regional as well as specific coverage for individual teams. But this is the first network that will be devoted solely to one particular team. If it pays off, look for other Universities to follow suit – and quickly.

One of the drawbacks to not extending the contract with Fox Sports is that it will reduce the availability of Arizona athletics across the nation – but only slightly. Sure it hurts national exposure that someone in Indiana, New York, or even Texas can’t just flip on the game against Western New Mexico starting typically no earlier that 9 p.m. their time. But more than that it hurts the fans outside of the Arizona area because they can’t catch those “meaningless” games. I don’t expect that to be a draw back for too long, especially if other Universities begin doing the same. If even 10 or 20 schools start running their own networks cable and satellite providers will begin putting together an add-on package that can be bought.



For out of Area Fans

For fans that are no longer in the area you can watch the games from http://arizonaathletics.com. You will need a subscription of $9.95 per month which equates to roughly $2.50 per football game, or $1.25 per basketball game. the site has been running this offer for quite a while. You can also check out highlights and clips from the games, as well as interviews a few days following each contest. If you’re too cheap to pay to watch the game, you can usually listen to the AM radio broadcast on sports.yahoo.com.



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