Advertisement

Advertisement

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New KU TV deals may limit handful of hoops games

Kansas guard Ben McLemore gets some attention from the ESPN cameras prior to tipoff against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore gets some attention from the ESPN cameras prior to tipoff against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Advertisement

Tuesday’s announcement of a seven-year deal between Kansas Athletics and ESPN did little to squash the concerns of Kansas University basketball fans nationwide about six games at the beginning of the upcoming season.

The deal makes it possible for KU fans across the nation to watch a minimum of 70 KU events annually on the multiscreen ESPN3 service and comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of a partnership between KU and Time Warner Cable and Kansas City channel Metro Sports.

While the new Tier-3 deals will put KU athletics in more homes than Texas’ more highly publicized Longhorn Network, they leave in question the availability of six early-season men’s basketball games that KU fans across Kansas have become accustomed to seeing: two exhibition games and four regular-season, non-conference games.

As things stand today — and KU officials were careful to point out that there are a lot of moving parts still associated with this situation — fans without Time Warner or ESPN3 may miss those six games. Even those who have the subscription-based ESPN Full Court service, which only includes regular-season college basketball contests, will miss the two exhibition games.

All other games — basketball and football normally broadcast through KU and Big 12 Tier-1 and Tier-2 partners on ESPN, ESPN 2, CBS, Fox and others — will be unaffected.

Here’s a quick breakdown, by region, of what is required to see the four regular-season games in question:

  • In Lawrence and throughout Kansas — The games will be available for customers who have Metro Sports or Full Court, but will be blacked out on ESPN3.
  • In Kansas City — The games will be available for customers with Time Warner, Comcast or Full Court, but not ESPN3.
  • Across the country — The games will be available via ESPN3 and Full Court, as has been the case during the past several years. Because of the Big 12 Conference’s television agreement with ESPN and Fox Sports, the live-game broadcasts on Metro Sports will be offered only to viewers in Kansas and the Kansas City metro area, but the new shoulder programing, which includes pre- and post-game content as well as weekly features about KU sports, will be available to Time Warner’s millions of customers nationwide.

While those scenarios appear to leave some Kansas cities in the dark, KU officials said today’s reality could change in the future. For example, if Cox Cable in Wichita were to broker a deal with Time Warner to bring Metro Sports to its channel lineup, KU fans in Wichita would be able to see the six games in question along with the more than two dozen others on national television each year.

“With this deal and the excitement and the discussion that it’s causing, it’s possible that developments are going to continue to unfold,” said Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletic director for public affairs. “If it happens that a very small minority of Kansas fans are somehow inconvenienced for two exhibition games and four non-conference basketball games, we think those fans would agree that the national exposure for the entire program is well worth it. And I stress that a small minority of fans may be inconvenienced, because the full story may not have been written yet.”

Added KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger: “In the spirit of doing what’s best for the student-athletes at the University of Kansas, we will, to the best of our ability, do whatever we can to work with our media partners to bring our fans, wherever they may be, the most access possible.

“This is an incredible deal for KU’s student-athletes. For the first time in history, all Kansas sports will have the opportunity to be seen nationwide by Kansas fans.”

Comments

iamakufan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"Taking away a handful of games" from loyal fans who have no other options for seeing those games is not acceptable. There is no reason why those making these deals could not have insisted that this situation not happen. It would not have been a deal breaker. Hopefully this will still be resolved. If not, then I am very disappointed in how the department has treated some of us.

Our phones are both cell phones but neither has any kind of internet connection. They are the old style flip phones. Telephones, period. Not even texting on these phones. So watching games on our phones is not an option.

0

Pitthawk34 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Our AD Zenger is Lying before our eyes to make him look good. Full court will not have games. These people should be jailed and the Charge...Theft of Services. Minimum 1 year county jail.

0

Pitthawk34 9 months, 3 weeks ago

In Lawrence and throughout Kansas — The games will be available for customers who have Metro Sports or Full Court, but will be blacked out on ESPN3. Someone at KU is lying because I checked with Dish and they said these games will not be on Full Court that would mean for Direct as well.

0

Sparko 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Only an idiot would negotiate a cable deal in 2013. And TWC sucks like no other. This was a mistake done with little practical research. Zenger has made a couple of odd deals lately that were not well thought out. Sigh. This sucks.

0

1timbob 9 months, 3 weeks ago

kukevbo U sound like a KSU fan "loyalty man were about loyalty" makes me sick, u have know idea what loyalty is! I don't care if I lose some games on T.V as long as it keeps the product good or makes it better. I personally think everyone will get the football and basketball games in the metro (38 spot) and metro sports will only televise nonprofit type sports. Relax everyone, I think the guy who wrote this article is looking for business!

0

Jeff Worthington 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Keitzman just flat out said on his radio show that this story is "WRONG" and that Jim Marchiony says that as of right now no games will be available on ESPN Full Court.

I'm not sure who to believe.

0

Sam Constance 9 months, 3 weeks ago

All the gnashing of teeth in here seems rather self-serving and short-sighted.

I realize there are many people within Kansas who will now have trouble accessing these 6 games that the previously didn't have trouble accessing. And I understand that it stinks to be unable to see your favorite team play.

But let's look at what the actual trade-off is here without the "woe is me!" component. And just so we can avoid any "no one cares about anything except basketball and football" derailments, let's address only basketball.

1) Kansas basketball games will now be available in more households across the country without anyone making any kind of change in their current provider setup.

2) More importantly, the potential number of households that KU games could be in across the country has increased dramatically, as now people who don't get those games have the option to switch to a provider who does where they didn't before.

3) The result of 1 + 2 is that the level of exposure our program (see: basketball) gets will be even more widespread, which is yet another tool in the portfolio for getting top talent to come play at KU

4) But the most important fact, to me, about this is that by doing this, KU has demonstrated a measurable and INDIVIDUAL (i.e., not attached to the conference) value should the realignment mess rear its ugly head again. Before, it was easy to talk about KU being a national brand that would draw attention even in the second-to-football sport that is college basketball. But now it's a demonstrable reality. It's a point of value that makes people think twice about dismissing KU as a basketball-only, small market brand that doesn't bring any value to a new conference. It shows that the "football is king" model is not the only acceptable way to think.

Those calling this deal "amateur hour" or insisting that KU only cares about the bottom line and doesn't give a crap about it's fans are missing the forest for the trees. By doing this now, KU positions itself to be forced into fewer compromises in the future, which ultimately serves the best interests of our fanbase long-term, even if it's frustrating in the immediate future to have to miss a few televised games against rummies. Take solace in the fact that no one who is a die hard KU fan will ever miss a game that matters and that your AD has your interests in mind, even if you can't see that right now.

2

notjustbread 9 months, 3 weeks ago

grrrr...I live in Denver and have Century Link...which does not give access to ESPN3. And I plan my evenings around all Kansas basketball games. Any other Colorado Jayhawks out there, please join me in contacting Century Link this week and voicing our displeasure over not having access to ESPN3.

0

James Naismith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't wake up in a roadside dtch. Get rid of cable.

0

JayHawkJay82 9 months, 3 weeks ago

For those with AT&T U-verse you can go here to request that Metro Sports get added to the lineup. Maybe if enough of us complain they will budge.

0

Steve Gantz 9 months, 3 weeks ago

ESPN3 has been a godsend for us out of the Kansas market residents. However, in the last year more often than not games were blacked out. I already pay for ESPN through DirectTV and they have the nerve to black out games (on ESPN3) that people are already paying for? Just another I hate them in the I love them, I hate them game I play with ESPN.

0

kckuguy 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A new TV deal is usually announced with how much the deal is worth. Did no one bother to ask ? Less viewers must mean at least more money, for some one. Is it KU ? Why is the KU administration dismissing thousands and thousands of KU fans. Follow the money. Tell me how much more money KU is getting with this deal over the last deal. Don't just tell us to accept it as being a good move. Prove to us that KU is actually making more money. That would make me feel a little better. Don't treat us like peasants and tell us to move along now. If this is such a good deal, tell us what the good deal is.

0

kckuguy 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The best quote from the mess is from Zenger " We are going to saturate the KC market ". Was he laughing when he said this ? Has Zenger never heard of Google or AT&T ? Has TWC convinced Zenger that most people in KC have TWC ? Has Zenger not seen the ever ending commercials from TWC trying to get customers back, saying "We have changed "? How much was that padded hand shake deal worth , Zenger ? This is a bush league deal that one would expect from MU or K-State, even they have learned from this TWC deal and both have abandon it.I will be able to watch all of their games this year, but Not KU .Come on kids, gather round as we all watch this game on this 2 inch telephone because KU does not have a big enough program so we can sit back and watch it on our TV. And if you dare gripe about it, some really smart guy will tell you to quit living in the past, this is 2013 after all, you can't expect to be able to watch KU on TV all the time. And then the same jerk says " Go have a beer with your neighbor " My Neighbors are all MU fans and everyone gets all of their games. This what what we are being told by Zenger.

1

NotTait 9 months, 3 weeks ago

“If it happens that a very small minority of Kansas fans are somehow inconvenienced for two exhibition games and four non-conference basketball games, we think those fans would agree that the national exposure for the entire program is well worth it. - Jim Marchiony

WRONG JIM!!! I don't agree, it sucks that the deal is with Metro Sports which I don't have access to!!!

0

jgkojak 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Here is the issue -

I can watch more Texas games than KU games in Olathe, KS-- unless I have MetroSports.

That SUCKS.

0

Tony Bandle 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] I am impressed by the passion and outrage shown on this issue as well as the well thought out arguments on both sides, however, as it has, does and always will, the final decision will land on where the money is!

2] Another possible solution is to find a good Jayhawk buddy, SLINGBOX to his set and watch the game in the comfort of your kitchen..it's worked for me courtesy of my little brother for awhile now.

3] One football game, two exhibition games and four walk-overs seems to me to be a small price to pay when in the long run, the entire Kansas Athletic program benefits as KU subtly positions itself for "THE FINAL SIXTY FOUR".

4] For the outraged of you..yes it does suck...kind of like blood tests, colonoscopies and eating your vegetables but the long range benefits will eventually become evident.

5] Most people need something to bitch about once in a while...this issue is aa good as the next.

2

JayhawkLifer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, from what I can glean from various websites, ESPN Full Court will blackout these 4 games locally because of the deal with TWC. Do you know if this is true or not.

I WILL find a way to watch these games, but I am really disappointed in the AD's cavalier attitude to those "few, inconvenienced" fans. I am sure there are fans that don't care about those games, but I can assure you, there are more than a "few" that are not happy about missing them.

1

peaker19 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Unless you live out west like me, where you can't get ESPN3 due to CableOne's squabble with ESPN.

0

iamakufan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

“If it happens that a very small minority of Kansas fans are somehow inconvenienced for two exhibition games and four non-conference basketball games, we think those fans would agree that the national exposure for the entire program is well worth it."

That statement is absolutely WRONG for those who happen to be that "small minority." What on earth are they thinking? Can they not accommodate those fans, as well?

Do they not realize how many Kansans do not have cable available to them? Those people are either on satellite, usually Dish or DirectTV, or get their TV using over the air antennas.

For Topeka, you're ok for the next two years per this article: http://cjonline.com/sports/2013-06-18/ku-time-warner-team-distribute-third-tier-content

Here's an excerpt from that article: "Meanwhile, KU is still figuring out how to make content available to all fans on a regional basis. Because of an existing contract, WIBW will continue to televise men's basketball games in Topeka for the next two years, but games previously carried by network affiliates in Wichita, Salina and other parts of the state will shift to cable."

That implies KU is still trying to work out details to get these games broadcast out to those of us who used to get to watch them. Let's hope they succeed in that. If they don't, there is going to be a large "small minority" of ticked off fans.

1

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Consider this...

In the end, you're giving up two exhibition basketball games and four more against crappy opponents.

.....oh and I guess you'll have to pass on watching our powerhouse football program for one game.

In return, we get the opportunity to kick this thing up a notch and take the Jayhawk brand to a higher level; giving alum and fans around the world a chance to actually watch the games we take for granted.

It's all about the benjamins.

0

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Boo hoo, people.

Deal with it. It's better for the programs. If you want to watch the games, you'll figure out how. If it means hooking up your laptop to your TV a couple of times, so be it.

We will survive.

1

dylans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

6 games times 7 years is really 42 games missed...

2

dylans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I have watched every KU men's basketball game (with very few exceptions) for well over a decade. I live in SW Kansas so I can't go to all the games. Why doesn't Zenger want this predominately KSU area to receive all the KU exposure that it can get? Removing viewers in Kansas seems like a bad idea. Blacking out ESPN3 means I can't see the games as Time Warner has no service out here. Hmm, if it weren't for the overall uptick in sports I'd wonder about Z's loyalty.

2

Slowponder 9 months, 3 weeks ago

To understand this, remember the order of Deep Throat in All the President's Men, "Follow the money."

0

leonard 9 months, 3 weeks ago

  • If it happens that a very small minority of Kansas fans are somehow inconvenienced for two exhibition games and four non-conference basketball games - Marchiony

That is a really pompous, out of touch, asinine statement...unless you believe that dropping about 20% of the broadcasts is just an inconvenience.

  • it’s possible that developments are going to continue to unfold - Marchiony

They better! It's not just an "inconvenience" for those fans that will miss the first month of the season...not getting their first look at the team until after Thanksgiving!

1

Robert Brown 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Again we are only talking about a handful of non competitive basketball games that are affected. I don't think most fans get too fired up about basketball until Christmas. I know that I will not plan my night around a game with Emporia State in November.

I am still waiting to hear the value of this deal. It is curious to me why it hasn't been announced.

0

longhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

CJ online was the one that reported that WIBW still had rights to the basketball broadcasts for the next two years. That was when the Time Warner deal was announced. Is that still true? Can't find anyone still reporting this.

http://cjonline.com/sports/2013-06-18/ku-time-warner-team-distribute-third-tier-content

0

longhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This stinks for Topeka. If we are in a market that can't get Metro Sports, then why would ESPN3 be blacked out?

It was previously reported that WIBW would still have rights to broadcast the basketball games one more year. Is that still true?

0

Janet Scott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Desperate for a deal, any deal to seemingly join the "big leagues", the KU brass made a deal, alright: laughable; minor league; amatuer hour. The ink isn't even dry, and KU is on the defensive; they can't even explain it.

1

Jerry Tompkins 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Who cares about the minor sports? All I care about is KU basketball and to a much lesser extent football. Looks to me like those of us in Topeka are getting the shaft.

3

midwest_muser 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not sure who I hate more, Time Warner or Mizzery.

0

BPSkelly 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd be curious as to what the pay TV break down is in Eastern Kansas and the KC metro area. As in what is the percentage of folks whom have Time Warner Cable, Comcast, etc... along with Dish, DirecTv, Google Fiber, etc.

Living in St. Louis -- where Charter Cable has been headquartered for decades -- there are no other competing companies cablewise with Charter in the immediate metro area. Along the edges there are some smaller companies, but for the most part thats it. Obviously the satellite companies are in play, as is UVerse now. Just curious.

Is TW a smaller provider in KC or is it and Comcast cover most of the area? Again, I have no clue and if anyone knows or has a reasonably educated guess on the breakdowns i'd be curious to hear it.

As ive posted in other articles about this, medium and long term this is a big deal. And yes it will go through some trials and tribulations in the KC / Kansas area. But my guess is as long as TW isnt overboard on what they are asking in carrier fees with other providers, eventually most people in KC will be able to get more KU sports than they could ever dream of.

0

MinorThreat 9 months, 3 weeks ago

FrontRow will still work, correct?

1

oneeye_wilbur 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Sure, it benefits the student-athletes,, aren't they all students to begin with?

Who really cares about the athletes who go to KU and can't even finish school....not much to say for the student thing

Where is the caring of fans!

Sure won't see thisTV stuff for the football team!!!

0

westernkshawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

So, basically, those of us without Time Warner are getting less, rather than more coverage of the sports that we really care about. Good job, KU. Just more money in your pocket at the expense of the fans.

5

Jay Dogger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm still trying to figure out how this different, especially outside of Kansas. When I Iived in L.A. I could see every game except for four (plus the two exhibiton games). I had Time Warner, so I couldn't get ESPN3. I couldn't afford Full Court for just those 4 (+2) games and I don't know if they were even on FC.

How is this different? Is it because those games weren't offered to ESPN3 before? (I don't know if they were available then because TIme Warner sux.)

Does Time Warner now carry ESPN3?

How does someone get the shoulder programming from Time Warner (not that I"m really into shoulder programming)? What station is it on?

We're getting closer to understanding but not quite there.

This doesn't seem all that different than before but maybe I'm missing something.

0

chriz 9 months, 3 weeks ago

My question is, what is there to gain by limiting the local exposure? What does Time Warner have to offer that gives them exclusivity?

2

Steve Hillyer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm still confident that other providers in KS/KC will get the games however this is different than was reported last week, initial reports stated they would be on all providers in KS/KC now they are saying this may not be the case. However even if I don't get those six games(glorified practices) I'm not blowing an aneurysm, I don't see how this is a bad deal if you are getting your brand more national exposure.

4

Pitthawk34 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This tells me BIG 12 is dead within the next 6 years. No doubt about it. I will buy full court by ESPN and have to miss 2 games that i am totally pissed about and that i have have already voiced my displeasure by canceling fall tickets. Hell with it tell BIG/PAC we will be there tomorrow. No sense in putting our fan base through all of this. The 4 big 16 conferences or 18 will be among us before long. Get Rock Chalk built and get Memorial upgraded by 10s of millions please in the next 5.

0

Brett McCabe 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Zenger is trying to keep KU relevant on the national stage. He's trying to position us in the best possible way when the next round of realignment comes along.

You saw his statement that KU must own the KC market. Why? Because those TV sets give us leverage and make us look better to any conference that may be expanding.

In addition, this will be a huge benefit to the coaches of the non-revenue sports in terms of recruiting and exposure (thanks to Blair Kirkhoff and Soren Petro for much of this info).

It may not be perfect but, other than Danny's jump hook, not much in life is.

2

Wickedson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

KU is looking beyond little TV sets in Kansas. Sorry guys. This is about national brand and it's a great move by all involved (KU, TWC, and ESPN).

Like Zenger said. Go to a friend's house and have a beer.

4

chriz 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This sucks. I have rabbit ears and can't justify getting all these cable channels I don't want just to get one that I DO want.

1

hawksquawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

WAAAHHHHHHHHHH, WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH, I live in Kansas/Kansas City and am a spoiled little brat and a child who over-reacts about everything because I'm just a wittle baby. WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Get over it, you nitwits. This is good for KU and good for the majority of alums.

0

gchawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I sure hope that the "moving parts" will mean more availability of games. I'm just wondering, does UNC, UK, Duke, or any other "power" teams have this same type of limited availability of games?

1

Commenting has been disabled for this item.