After 18 years as its exclusive television partner for women’s basketball, CPTV’s relation with UConn ended Tuesday when the university announced SNY will be its women’s basketball regional television broadcast partner for the next four seasons.
“We’re thrilled to become the official TV home of UConn women’s basketball, the preeminent women’s basketball program in the nation,” said Steve Raab, President of SNY. “This is a landmark partnership and a special opportunity for SNY.”
With SNY, the regional sports network that also telecasts UConn men’s basketball and football, UConn is counting on the an expanding audience of nearly 14 million homes. SNY’s regional territory includes Connecticut, NewYork, New Jersey and Northeast Pennsylvania with national coverage on Comcast AT&T U-Verse,DirectTV and Verizon FiOS.
The rights fee paid UConn will be $4.55 million over the four-year term, 2012-13 through 2015-16 – approximately $1.14 million annually. The rights fee in the previous four-year agreement for UConn women’s basketball television rights averaged $900,000 annually.
The new agreement with SNY provides UConn marketing opportunities, since all of its major sports will be carried by the same network, home of the New York Mets.
“I am very excited that SNY will be our television home for the next four years,” Geno Auriemma said. “This agreement will continue to provide fans in Connecticut an opportunity to watch our team play and will also help us develop a whole new group of UConn women’s basketball fans throughout the Northeast and the entire nation.
“SNY will also allow us to showcase UConn women’s basketball to a larger audience, which will support our recruiting efforts and help us maintain the level of success in our program.”
UConn president Susan Herbst applauded the decision
“This new agreement with SNY will bring UConn women’s basketball to more Husky fans than ever before throughout the region and the nation,” Herbst said. “This is a great opportunity for [UConn] to further showcase our outstanding women’s basketball program and reach our enthusiastic alumni base, both inside and outside the state of Connecticut.”
“I would like to thank Connecticut Public Television, who has been our women’s basketball television home for the past 18 years. CPTV has been a loyal and dedicated partner, and both CPTV and UConn have benefitted from the relationship. We look forward to maintaining a relationship with CPTV, both institutionally and in terms of athletics with their new CPTV Sports channel.”
Similar to past years, a minimum of 17 live UConn games will be televised as part of the SNY package. The exact number of games is dependent on several factors related to BIG EAST broadcast agreements, including the number of games selected for national television.
SNY will devote approximately 325 hours of coverage annually to UConn women’s basketball. In addition to the live games, there will be game replays, an in-season weekly coach’s show and a new program called “Geno’s Legacy.”
This program, which would have 2-3 episodes annually, would feature interviews with former UConn players who have played a major role in the history of the program and highlight what these players are now doing in their lives.
The annual number of hours also features in-depth pre game and post game shows for each broadcast that would originate live from SNY’s street-level studio — in the heart of Manhattan — directly across the street from Radio City Music Hall.