PAC-10 TV CONTRACT: FSN/FCS Scheduling Provides Unintentional Humor/Frustration

As many of my fellow CougCenterites can attest, trying to watch your favorite college football team from a different region of the country can often be a difficult and costly task. It can involve shelling out extra money on the cable bill for a few extra sports channels, with no guarantee the games will show up. If that does not work, we may go to a local bar and hope one of the televisions are tuned to the correct channel, all the while spending cash for beer and hot wings. Going to a bar and watching the game with a group of friends or even a bunch of like-minded fans can be fun, but being the only guy in a Coug shirt is just not the same.

I have chosen the former option, as bars around here are very SEC-centric. I pay an extra five dollars a month for the "Sports Premium Package" which includes Fox College Sports Atlantic, Central, and Pacific. One would think that these college-only stations, on football's kickoff weekend, would be completely dedicated to the sport, providing nothing by analysis and live games. One may also expect to see these region-specific stations make it a point to broadcast games that would be of interest to people in those areas.

Sadly, these expectations are far from accurate.

To kick off the college football festivities, Fox College Sports Pacific will be showing a replay of the "Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament: Pacific vs. Missouri State." Later, they will be showing back-to-back high school football games, from 2000 and 2002 (Because nothing says College Football like...High School Football).

Finally, at 6pm Central Time (that's my time), actual LIVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL! And what exactly is the matchup on Fox College Sports Pacific? Bowling Green and Troy. For those of you who are not familiar with the locations of these universities, that would be Ohio and Alabama. Not exactly close to the "Pacific" area of the country. Following that game, we finally see some West Coast football, as Portland State visits Arizona State. Of course we would not want to pre-empt that all-important BGSU-Troy matchup, so PSU-ASU will be shown on a half-hour tape delay.

To recap (these formulas shall forever be known as "The FCS Theorem of Television"):

Old 4th Tier Postseason Basketball > New College Football,  High School = College, and Ohio/Alabama = Pacific.

Proof not available (shut up, you know you skip over the proofs anyway).

So what does this have to do with the Washington State Cougars? Click on to find out.

It was pretty exciting to find out the that the Cougs' opening matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowboys would be "nationally televised" in "high definition" on FSN. Last year, one of my rare chances to see the Cougs was Jeff Tuel's debut against USC. So I figured this would be a great opportunity to see a game live and actually participate in a football game thread with all you.

Upon scrolling through the television schedule yesterday, I was pretty disappointed.

A game that is listed to be broadcast on FSN nationally, will be shown on a three-hour tape delay in Nashville. That is maddening initially, but that is not really the main issue. The game that will be shown is Arkansas State-Auburn. Since this is Fox Sports South, a matchup like that is expected to have priority.

The problem is with the Pac-10 television contract. FSN has the rights to two West Coast games that will be shown on my cable box on Saturday Night, neither one is live. Both will be shown after 9pm. Essentially, the only people that will see those games will be people who seek them out and drunk folks at bars who are casually glancing up at the screen, wondering why it is still light out in Oklahoma, and squinting to try to find that "funny tree that Stanford has."

The idiocy of the Tom Hansen regime continues to rear its ugly head. It is a certainty that Larry Scott cringes when he sees how his teams will be televised to the country, being broadcast in the same slot as some of TV's past greats such as "Viper" and "VIP."

FSN's nationally televised games are a farce. What's even more frustrating is they have these backup channels that are being grossly underutilized. The Pac-10 needs to run far, far away from these guys or demand something better. Luckily, Larry Scott has put national exposure first, and this will happen the next time TV contracts come around (I'm already thanking him that the replay of the Coug game will be in HD).

For now, Pac-10 fans across the country are relegated to late-night tape delays or GameTrackers to follow their teams. The rest of the country will just continue to remain oblivious to the conference's existence.

/Tom Hansen smiles, hops in motorcar to catch a talkie at the local petting pantry.

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