You may recall how upset CPTV CEO Jerry Franklin was when he learned that SNY had won the rights to televise the UConn women for the next four years, ending an 18-year relationship with his network.
Franklin said some things publicly that stung, especially those at UConn who were not happy with his choice of rhetoric.
As the parties move ahead, there is still a lot of business the two could conduct – and UConn wants to find a place for its Olympic sports to be televised. CPTV Sports seems like a good place.
But before any conversations could take place, peace needed to be made in a very specific way.
On Sunday, on the Courant’s op-ed page, Franklin made his peace:
Connecticut Public Broadcasting has had an 18-year love affair with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team — and it showed.
Anyone who ever watched one of our game television broadcasts could see that we wore our hearts on our sleeves of UConn blue. It was clear we were hopelessly passionate about our women’s basketball team — nobody more so than me.
I say all this by way of explanation for some public comments I made in the aftermath of UConn’s decision to partner with the SNY Network for future television broadcasts. All of us at CPTV were heartbroken by this decision and, again, it showed. Like all purely emotional reactions, it seemed right at the time. But now, a month later, I know it wasn’t fair and I regret some of the things I said in the heat of the moment.
I recognize now that my comments critical of the outcome weren’t fair to the administrators at UConn. They had been tasked with making a very complex decision, weighing a number of considerations and arriving at a conclusion that was tied to the overall goals of the university and its women’s basketball program. It was especially unfair to UConn President Susan Herbst, who consistently referred to CPTV as a loyal, dedicated partner and talked about maintaining a future relationship.
I now see that my comments of a month ago were not fair to the women’s basketball program itself. In the end, it really should be all about this amazing program, its masterful coaches and exceptional student athletes who have thrilled and inspired us all. That should always be our focus in order that it may thrive and continue as a tremendous source of pride for every resident of this state.
Finally, as a broadcast organization, CPTV has progressed and grown during the past 18 years of this partnership. Rather than looking back on what was, we must now look to work with UConn on future opportunities and what we can do together with other UConn sports.
In that spirit, I am looking forward to that day not too far in the future that Hartford hosts another parade for our national champion women’s basketball team. On that day, as in the past, there will be thousands cheering along the parade route — but nobody more so than me.
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