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A little cleaner look at KU's announced TV deal with Time Warner

The news regarding a broadcasting deal between Kansas Athletics, IMG College and Time Warner Cable/MetroSports to create a revamped Jayhawk Network has produced quite a bit of confusion from fans throughout Jayhawk Nation.

As I've mentioned several times today, both on Twitter and in the comments section of our story, I understand those concerns and the confusion but also am limited in what I can say because KU and its partners have chosen to release the details of their TV agreement in two parts, one today and one sometime in the very near future, once details are finalized and contracts are signed.

In the meantime, let's try to clear up some of the confusion with a very basic and very brief comparison between what you, as viewers, had before and what you'll be getting under the new deal, as it stands today.

I say “as it stands today,” because I've had multiple off-the-record conversations with people at KU about this and I have a pretty clear understanding that when the final pieces of the puzzle are put in place, KU fans will be very excited about the future and how it pertains to KU expanding its brand and presence in homes across the country.

For now, though, let's get on with this exercise.

• Additional KU coverage, what's come to be known as “shoulder programming”
Now – None
With the new deal – 600 hours per year, available to all Time Warner customers, nationwide

• Games or events shown in Kansas on the Jayhawk Televsion Network:
Now – 1 football game and six men's basketball games per year
With the new deal – Those seven events plus 43 other events in sports including volleyball, women's basketball, soccer and track

• Men's hoops games shown in Kansas via other media outlets and/or cable providers
Now – All
With the new deal – All

--- It's important to remember that this deal is for KU's Tier 3 rights only and that many men's hoops games and football games are broadcast with KU and/or the Big 12's Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners. So, in short, games shown on ESPN, ESPN2, CBS, Fox, whatever, will still be shown on those channels just as they have been in the past. Nothing changes there. ---

--- Another thing worth remembering is this: The whole hub-bub here is over six men's basketball games slated for Jayhawk Network. In 2012-13, 27 of KU's 34 non-NCAA Tournament games were shown on national television, 19 on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, 4 on CBS and 4 on the Big 12 Network. In 2011-12 28 of 33 games were on national TV and in 2010-11 25 of 33 were on national TV. So the point here is that nothing changes for the national audience. ---

One one the biggest questions I have heard today is regarding DirectTV and Dish Network subscribers. And there is some cause for concern there.

If those providers do not carry Time Warner and/or MetroSports programming then DirectTV and Dish Network subscribers will not be able to get the 50 extra events or 300 hours of additional programming.

Having said that, there is some precedent for complaints from customers changing that in a hurry. When the Los Angeles Lakers entered into a deal with Time Warner, similar to the one KU and TWC have reached today, many Lakers fans who were on DirectTV and Dish Network went to those providers and complained about not being able to get the Lakers coverage because the channel was not available in their current lineup.

Here's a link to an L.A. Times story about the end of the madness back in 2012: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/15/entertainment/la-et-ct-lakers-directv-20121115

Evidently, enough people complained to inspire DirectTV to approach Time Warner about rectifying the situation and, when they did, things were fixed quickly.

A non-KU affiliated source I talked to a little bit ago explained it to me like this: According to FCC regulations, if DirectTV or Dish Network approach Time Warner and say they've heard viewer complaints about not carrying the channel and tell Time Warner they would like to pick up what, in this case, would be MetroSports, Time Warner is required to provide the channel to DirectTV or Dish Network at a nominal fee. At that point, DirectTV and/or Dish Network would decide how they want to incorporate it into their lineup. They could make it a part of a sports tier or package, they could add it to the overall lineup and bump up subscription costs by a small amount or they could even include it on a pay-per-view basis. That part is up to them. But if they hear enough complaints and, more importantly, if they sense that enough customers may be considering switching over to Time Warner, they almost assuredly would request to add the channel to their lineup.

Again, there's a lot still to come out here and patience is at a premium right now. It's my belief that when all of the dust settles KU fans will feel very good about the total deal and be as excited as the folks inside KU currently are about what this means for the future of broadcast KU athletics both in Kansas and across the country.

As we so often said during the conference realignment mess, stay tuned...

;

Comments

Janet Olin 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah, our community in Olathe has 2 choices: Comcast (which sucks) or Surewest (which doesn't carry Metro Sports). What exactly are we supposed to do? This is a big deal in JoCo with Many. KUAthletics. Supporters. Prepare for a big ruckus, or a big drop in financial support from the metro area.

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JHWKDW 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Pitthawk maybe you ought to take your anger out not on Zenger, but the Lousy 12-2 conference. The SEC, B1G, and Pac-12 already have a network ,hell even Mountain West, and ACC, yeah the ACC who everyone thought were in trouble, are working on getting a tv network. And where are we? No Big 12 Network. Texas was more worried about getting High School Sports on than worrying about all of us, or shooting down getting to 12 teams in football, and getting a Big 12-2 championship game which many teams want, but not Texas. Is our TV deal the best maybe not, but it is the best we can do since we have to go it alone.Hey we get to see more KU Sports than we ever have. If I want to watch any sport on television, the other 3 Big relevant conferences are on ESPN,Fox or whatever. Big 12-2 nope.Hell we cannot even get to 12 football teams and a conference championship game because Texas Longhorns shoot down any team or teams that think of joining us.And Zenger is the problem?

Hell B1G already have a big following on their network, and they are also expanding into Canada, where are we? Same with Pac-12 network is doing ok, now they want to expand into Asia, where are we worried about the LHN and them getting High School sports.Get where I am going?

Get over the fact he came from K-State. Hey look at how KU won a National Championship in Ladies track. In addition all of KU sports have produced winning records. Yeah football isnt there yet but hang on.Zenger wants to shake the 1 trick pony image of KU and it only being good in Men's Basketball.Hey K-State aint to bad not that I am a fan of them. But they just won a triple crown in men's sports. How does that suck?

Im not completely 100% fond of the deal, but then again we got to get what we can now, since we are all basically on our own.This is what Ive talked about with the Big 12 deal not being so good, as the ol saying goes "The Devil is in the Details" This is a example of how the Big 12-2 deal aint so good. Want to know why 4 teams left already? We will get a better deal down the road since KU sports all around are getting better not just in Basketball, but all sports. Give it time Zenger is doing the best with what he has got for now.

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TxJyHawk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

If the 4 non-conference basketball games are no longer on the Full Court package, then it DOES change the national arrangement.

It basically means we can no longer get those games at all.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

This agreement alters the local – not national – broadcasting arrangement of a small minority of KU men’s basketball games, something we feel is well worth the tremendously increased exposure KU will receive locally and nationally.... Well what a bunch of crap now I am a minority...Who cant get TW only Dish or Direct. Looks like KU fans are not created as equals. Fine...I will be canceling my football tickets tomorrow.

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Lou_Meister 10 months ago

Here's an e-mail I recived from Marchiony:

Thanks for your e-mail. Metro Sports, which is carried on Time Warner Cable and Comcast, will be the exclusive local carrier of just six (two exhibitions, four non-conference) of KU’s 30+ men’s basketball games, one football game and 45 other live events. All the other 27 or so KU basketball regular-season games will be available locally and nationally in the same way they have been for the last several years.

In addition, Metro Sports will annually carry some 600 hours of new, innovative, KU-themed programming that will bring great new coverage – locally and nationally – of Kansas and highlight the KU brand in new ways.

This agreement alters the local – not national – broadcasting arrangement of a small minority of KU men’s basketball games, something we feel is well worth the tremendously increased exposure KU will receive locally and nationally.

Jim Marchiony Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs University of Kansas 1651 Naismith Drive Lawrence, KS. 66045 jmarch@ku.edu O: 785-864-3359 www.kuathletics.com

>
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Sparko 10 months ago

I am also angry at this--I'll direct my complaints to the athletic department. TWC is an awful brand. Michigan got $7M more for their Adidas deal. Zenger is not impressing me with his business sense right now at all. TWC is a cancer.

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Larry Smith 10 months ago

• Men's hoops games shown in Kansas via other media outlets and/or cable providers

Now – All

With the new deal – All

Do people just choose not to read the article?

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otaKU 10 months ago

Here's a thought...why doesn't everybody quit freaking out until the other half of deal is released? Maybe then all your "questions" will be answered.

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Lou_Meister 10 months ago

According to research firm SNL Kagan, about 48% of cable subscribers in Kansas City (including JoCo), Topeka, and Wichita/Hutch are customers of Uverse, DirecTV, or Dish. Since customers of these systems do not have access to Metro Sports, in one fell swoop Zenger just cut the Kansas/KC viewer base in half.....just so Time Warner customers can watch soccer or track! I think it's time to cut my WEF donation.

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Steve Hillyer 10 months ago

Does FSN carry other sports besides basketball for KSU, OU, etc? The only benefit I see for KU going with TWC is the other sports will get some coverage but if the other schools are also getting that from FSN then this makes no sense. There is no way that I can see that KU will get the national exposure signing with TWC than if they had signed with FSN.

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BPSkelly 10 months ago

--- Matt ---

I would be curious however if KU higher ups anticipated folks being upset by this. Im still a believer that long term this is a good thing. But it strikes me as alarmingly short-sided to come out media wise with bits and pieces.

It strikes me as a PR blunder that could have been avoided, especially when the end result should be a positive, it's certainly not coming out that way amongst the vocal minority here.

Just curious as to your thoughts. Thanks for the articles and posts btw.

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BPSkelly 10 months ago

It's obvious that the main concern of most the folks on here seems to be access to KU stuff that isnt normally on "national" TV. My guess is that is a legitimate concern. Now TimeWarner has to 'sell' (both literally and figuratively) to other pay TV services.

If KU (and TW) were smart they wouldnt go the way of the Longhorn Network -- although im afraid we're clearly in the mold of that -- by getting greedy on carriage fees. Even if that works out reasonably well (and im not sure we should assume that, at least not yet), it's hard to envision KU/TimeWarner being able to convince cable providers in Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Denver (major markets with lots of KU alums) to take on the channel regardless. Even if the carriage fee was ONE CENT it's hard to envision companies willing take up a slot in what they offer for less than 1% of its subscriber base. Now, putting it on a 'sports tier' is a different story, and my guess is that would be a BEST CASE scenario. It's also highly unlikely to happen. There just isnt going to be demand for it.

DirecTV, UVerse, FiOS have little or no incentive to package the station nationally. Even if its cheap. Again, best case scenario is sports tier. Even that will be a tough sell for those carriers. I live in St. Louis and have DirecTV... my guess is there's no shot at me seeing any of this.

All that said, I do believe that they'll be able to get the other cable providers locally to take on the channel. That is, under the assumption it's not going to cost them an arm and a leg. My guess is anyone in KC and Kansas will eventually get this. Im quite sure unless they're giving it away that this will take off. Longer term though, I think in the KC metro area you'll be able to get this eventually.

This also points out however why doing this media rights thing piece meal has its limits. Why would anyone in Houston or Dallas want KU sports all the time? But if its a conference deal, with UT, TCU, Baylor, etc -- no one bats an eye. And the number of subscribers jumps so exponentially that one's head spins from it. Yes, your still splitting the 'pie' amongst your conference mates, but is there any question how much bigger the pie is?

The chicken little stuff needs to stop though. There has never ever been a major cable provider who's done this with an individual school. I dont necessarily buy Matt's comparing this to TW signing the Lakers up, but there are some parallels. Scale isnt one of them however. If KU puts access and exposure over immediate $$$ this could work well. Or at least reasonably well. It's another revenue stream folks. Let's hope the stream turns into a river.

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kckuguy 10 months ago

TWC is losing their $ss in KC because of their past " WE don't give a damn" attitude. That is why they are offering $200 for people to come back and saying "we have changed". I have had U-Verse for almost 5 years and very happy. I am not going to be intimidated to change cable providers because Zinger took a padded hand shake. Metro Sports is a TWC channel. They are not going to allow a competitor to air it. If a customer wants Metro Sports they must subscribe to TWC, period. This was funny last year when MU was on Metro and half of KC couldn't watch several of their games, but KU doing this ? This is literally selling out your loyal fan base so KU volleyball and soccer will be on TV ? This is telling half of the KC market to go to hell and then we drive on the hiway and see billboards saying KC is a KU town ? Matt, you tell us to raise hell with the other cable companies because Zinger tells us if we want to be KU fans then you must use the cable provider I tell you to use? What kind of crap is that ? If it was such a lucrative deal I would think he would have released that as well. What will happen is less people will be watching KU games on TV and Zinger will have to come out and explain. Most people wont even know about this until they try to find the game on TV. You want to watch fans bitch, I feel sorry for the poor gal answering the phone at the KU office when thousands of people are told, well if you want to watch our games you will have to switch to TWC . We will see how fast Zinger can fix that problem.

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kssmiles 10 months ago

A decade ago fans complained about access to games. Hopefully the AD remembers those problems. MU & KSU had deals with Metro sports and half their fans didn't have access to the games. I always thought that was second rate.

I live in KC and do not have TW. Let's hope Metro sports is producing the content and will be showing the events on other cable provider's. I'm willing to be patient and wait for further details. But if you have to have TW to watch the games then Zinger screwed over a lot alumnus in his biggest base.

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Chris1955 10 months ago

This announcement sounds as though the car slid off the road into a ditch. I live in Houston, and have seen what this crap causes.

The Longhorn network very much overplayed their in negotiating with Direct TV and other cable companies. Direct TV and others told them to F' off. As a result, the Longhorn network is only available to about 15% of the homes in the greater Houston area.

Another example: The idiotic Houston Astros ownership decided to sell their television rights, and sucker the Houston Rockets into joining their foolish choice. They went with Comcast. Comcast, like the Longhorn network, overplayed their negotiating hand. As a result, the Rocket games were only viewable to Comcast subscribers in Houston, and only available to about 25% of the homes in Houston. The Astros are not only horrible, but have no viewers either (maybe a good thing). Now, Houston media viewers were not able to pressure Direct TV into contracts with either the Longhorn network, or Comcast.

The lesson to be learned here is that unless the bid award is going to go to a company like ESPN, Fox, Direct TV, etc., the viewers will be most certainly screwed. The innocent will be punished.

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ohjayhawk 10 months ago

Another thing I haven't seen in the limited info that has been provided so far is if the Jayhawk Network games would still be offered on ESPN3. They have been for the past several years, but I am wondering if this will change that arrangement. Living in Ohio, that's been the only way to see the Jayhawk Network games. At least I'm lucky enough to live in a market that has part of WV in it and now have local stations that carry the Big 12 Network games!

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Nick Cole 10 months ago

Matt, I live in the KC area do not have cable or satellite. I'm one of the people who cut the cord a few years ago. I get my television over the air via digital antenna. In the past, I've been able to watch the Jayhawk Network games on channel 38. Will I still be able to watch the games via over the air programming, or will I now have to frequent a local watering hole more often than I already do? This question needs to be answered. I appreciate your help on this. Great job with the breakdown and keeping us KU fans up to date on all the latest. Thanks for your hard work.

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vann_dango 10 months ago

So I am guessing this deal cuts out most of Lawrence seeing as they Konogolgy or (whatever its called now)??

On another note is ESPNu considered a 3rd tier? especially since its not readily available with most basic cable packages.

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chicagojhawk97 10 months ago

As a Chicago resident and loyal alum, I have my concerns about this deal. In Chicago (Comcast), we have access to the Fox Sports network as part of an optional sports package; no Time Warner Sports option (as far as I know). Every time I flip through the Fox channels I see Baylor, Sooner & KSU programming. We have more alums in the Chicago area than any of these schools, combined. If this deal is intended solely to provide additional access only to Kansas and K.C. Metro households, I really think we missed the boat on this one. KU is a national brand and needs,at a minimum, to have exposure on par with any other Big XII schools.

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Phil Leister 10 months ago

What the hell is everyone up in arms about? Football and basketball stays the exact same under the new deal. Are you really that upset about not getting to watch a volleyball or baseball game?

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jhawkrulz 10 months ago

Thank goodness Zenger brought us a national championship in track...let's see he has the Adidas extension and now a tv deal.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

Fire Zenger the jerk...he sold out not only on us in state satellite customers but the out of state KU fans that only want to watch their TEAM play and celebrate. Thank you zenger for your mole like activities, safe to say i have never been a fan of this cat as in K cat. Fire him he is not one of us.

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Foster Coburn 10 months ago

This doesn't seem to address folks outside of the "footprint" at all. What about those of us who are NOT in Kansas or the KC Metro area? There is no cable in my neighborhood and TW isn't in Phoenix at all. So if the game isn't on DirecTV NATIONALLY, we don't get it. Don't tell me I'm missing six games because I've been able to watch those for MANY years before this stupid deal. Heck, they were even provided on a local Prescott channel for many years.

Zenger totally hosed the out-of-state fans two years ago by getting in bed with Bevo and putting a game on the Longhorn Network. Sure, it was broadcast over the air in Kansas. That doesn't help Jayhawk NATION. Nobody gets LHN and the KU telecast was blacked out outside of Kansas to protect the 12 people who get Bevovision.

I have no faith at all that the news they didn't announce today will make it any better.

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Brad Farha 10 months ago

I've had U-Verse for nearly 5 years now.....and I am seriously considering a switch to Time Warner now. Of course, I'll wait until they release more details, but I'd rather have Time Warner than miss out on the extra programming with U-Verse.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

Please..please.. KU sports.com, if you are a legit newspaper..please ask questions questions on behalf of us who will be left out on Satellite and other providers that just does not seem to meet the Time Warner criteria. Please let them know they are leaving thousands tens of thousands behind..I ask KU sports to just take a look at Dish and Direct numbers in the Kansas and KC area. Thousands baby that will not be intimidated.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

Time to get a petition started...No doubt with satellite alone in the KC area and surrounding areas we will get 10,000 plus..What Zenger does not understand that many of us on Satellite have contracts and if we bail out of those we hurt our credit and pay huge penalties. It is not worth it and we the fan is hurt only because we want to watch our team play. This is criminal.

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jhox 10 months ago

Hate Time Warner. Hate their service. Hate their picture quality. I have Surewest and have no intention of switching. I guess local sports bars will see more of me in the future.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

Storm the streets with pitch forks and modern day flashlights to the castle...that is tearing apart KU nation into 2 separate sectors. We should be one not divided. Shame on you Zenger and KU athletics.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

I have just had about enough of this BS. large numbers will not have access that are customers to non-cable. Fine I will never change with these intimidating measures on getting us to change. Thanks very much Zenger now Go the F home to Kansas state.

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Pitthawk34 10 months ago

I have Dish.. I am screwed... Fire Zenger fire him now! This is complete BS!

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westernkshawk 10 months ago

So I suppose those of us who watched the "other six" games on local TV networks will be unable to watch them. Very few in western KS have Time Warner. Not that anybody has cared much about western KS up to this point; but it just happens that it works out so we can get those extra games over KSN.

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Janet Scott 10 months ago

Is watching Justin Bieber part of this package? Peter Pan and Goldilocks? Just wonder'n. Did Z use the new KU football virtual computer venue to help him decide to go this route? Or did he use a Ouji Board?

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Geezer 10 months ago

Any deal that the AD makes is about money and not the fans. That's his job. Hope that at least firstrow will pick up the half dozen games.

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Rusty Thomas 10 months ago

Matt - I live north of Lawrence. Folks out here have either DirecTV or Dish, period. I have DirecTV and because of my address, I get WIBW out of Topeka. In the last two years, WIBW has either pre-empted games or has lost the signal during the games. I have spoken with DirecTV about these issues. THEY DON"T CARE! So, why, if we complain about not receiving Metro Sports would they care? Just saying....

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Rock_Chalk_NYC 10 months ago

Thanks Matt for the updates though... Lets hope as parts II and III are released this deal gets better. Hopefully TWC and Metro will license to other national carriers in areas not covered by their services.

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Rock_Chalk_NYC 10 months ago

Near as I can tell at this time...

Mens Basketball and Football

State of Kansas (and Nebraska ??? Go figure) : Now: Same Future: Same

Outside of Kansas: Now: Some games Future: No games.

Lets just wait and see.... right now it looks like this deal is just about money, not access and not recruiting.

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rschneider 10 months ago

KU created a mess here. Why not wait and announce everything at once with all contract signed, sealed, etc.? Instead, you've got to have multiple updates to stories, confusion about who's getting content and who won't. Hard to be "excited" about this when the flow of information has been terrible.

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Steve Hillyer 10 months ago

When TWC produced the Royals games from 2003-2007 they initially were not on the satellite systems, but eventually they worked out an agreement with a FSN alternate to carry the games. Having said that my life is not going to be negatively impacted if I miss the Washburn or Maryland Baltimore county game. If you are local and upset you'll miss the first football game then buy a ticket, usually plenty available.

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thmdmph 10 months ago

West / Midwest, Bryant / Wiggins, Lakers / JHawkers, LA / KU. Twins separated at birth, couldn't be more alike.

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jgkojak 10 months ago

I didn't intend the big font, but I guess my point is made, huh...

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jgkojak 10 months ago

I have U-verse and in Olathe my option is to go with Crapcast... I mean Comcast again...

of internet outages w/Comcast: weekly

with U-verse in 3 years: ZERO

But as a die-hard fan, sounds like I get to switch to Comcast

I guess I can watch on-line, but even when I DVR the games (which I do often), I usually don't know the score - knowing KU wins 97-48 against Emporia State doesn't really change the expected outcome, but takes away from the experience - that and watching it on a tiny screen.

At least they should offer a $20 a year KU package we could get -- I'd probably do that

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The_poster_kusports_needs 10 months ago

You aren't really trying to say that KU sports fans have the same kind of pull that Lakers fans do, are you?

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kujaydoc 10 months ago

What about non-TWC cable customers in KC, ie SureWest?

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sjkelly46 10 months ago

I appreciate the information, but it looks like those without TW will have to jump through hoops to get Metro added to their provider and could even end up without.

It's not just DirecTV and Dish - ATT U-Verse has a presence nationally and in Lawrence.

I hope KU will do what is necessary to have ALL providers have access to Metro and not put it on the subscribers to clamor for it.

Without all providers carrying Metro, there is no "national presence."

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Bailey52362 10 months ago

Question about this comment: "A non-KU affiliated source I talked to a little bit ago explained it to me like this: According to FCC regulations, if DirectTV or Dish Network approach Time Warner and say they've heard viewer complaints about not carrying the channel and tell Time Warner they would like to pick up what, in this case, would be MetroSports, Time Warner is required to provide the channel to DirectTV or Dish Network at a nominal fee."

Does the same FCC regulation apply to other cable providers, such as ATT U-Verse?

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JerryK 10 months ago

Will WOW add an HD channel for Metro Sports, currently only on channel 37?

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Mike Barnhart 10 months ago

Good for KU! I can't imagine this being worth more than a couple million a year to the AD. That said, third tier rights should be pretty popular with the parents of Kansas non-revenue sports.

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Brett McCabe 10 months ago

KU should have waited to announce until they had all of the info.

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Chuck Woodling 10 months ago

Will it ever come out how much Tier 3 money KU Athletics will receive, and where KU's Tier 3 payments rank among the other nine league schools?

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Lefty54 10 months ago

Thank you for the additional information.

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freudhawk 10 months ago

Thanks for the clarification, Matt. I am hopeful that this will be a great thing. I really like the idea of the shoulder programming as I can never get enough Hawk info. As someone who lives in Central Kansas I'm curious to see how it will play out for us.

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