Recently, we have received many questions and comments regarding why our menís basketball games at Baylor and Gonzaga were on ESPNU, a channel that is not readily available statewide.
I appreciate the frustration of not being able to see the Cougars in action, especially with us fielding a top-10 ranked squad. Please keep in mind; however, since Baylor and Gonzaga were road games for us, we have no control as to the television situation. In these two cases, the Big 12 Conference (Baylor) and the West Coast Conference (Gonzaga) hold the television rights.
This circumstance is the same for most conferences in the nation, including the Pac-10. For our conference games, the Pac-10 holds first rights in determining what games will be on television. After this is determined, Fox Sports Net has the option to pick up whatever games are left over that the Pac-10 did not select.
This season, the Cougars have the possibility of having 16 of their 18 Pac-10 Conference contests televised, including at least one appearance on ABC (vs. USC, Feb. 9). At least eight of the games will be broadcast on FSN, while six will be shown on FSN Northwest and/or FSN Arizona; and we have the opportunity to be picked up for `wildcard' games on either CBS, ABC or FSN for the March 1 and March 8 games at Stanford and at home versus Washington, respectively.
In all, our menís basketball team will be featured a minimum of 18 times on either regional or national television. The 18 appearances ties the 2005-06 season for the most televised games in a season in school history. Of course, if we are picked up for one the aforementioned games on March 1 or March 8, we will break this mark.
The numerous televised appearances of our menís basketball team follows a football campaign where 10 of our 12 games were on television, the most weíve had in one season.
Televised contests provide many benefits to us, including revenue and exposure for the WSU Athletic Department and the University, which help us stay competitive in the Pacific-10 Conference with all of our sport programs. In addition, Cougar fans from all over the country can see us play whether it is at home or on the road. Television also benefits recruiting by providing a spotlight on our programs allowing recruits to witness the atmosphere of our home court in big-time game settings.
In conclusion, I want to express my appreciation for the support our students, alumni and fans show for our program. We appreciate our fans' passion for Cougar Athletics, and we are thrilled to have them so passionate about us getting on TV.