Thursday, November 01, 2007
UConn plays it's first game as a ranked team against Rutgers this Saturday night, and no one in Connecticut or Jersey will be able to watch. Well not no one, but very few....the game was picked to be aired on ESPNU by the Leader.
UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said Tuesday he believes the network is using the game to leverage cable companies to add ESPNU.Here we go again. I'm almost ready to side with ESPN on this one because it's tough to please everyone. Buuuuut the conspiracy theory of leverage sounds like a good idea, and you have to think ESPN would jump at the chance to get people demanding the U.
Burke Magnus, the vice president and general manager of ESPNU, called that assertion 'ridiculous.' He said the decision to put the game on ESPNU was made before UConn upset South Florida and jumped to No. 16 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.
'Our crystal ball works about as well as anyone else's,' he said. 'You can't look at one game in the landscape of all the games that we're doing on all of our networks and single it out as a mistake or some giant ploy against Comcast to leverage them into carrying ESPN. That's just not the way it works.'
Magnus said negotiations with Comcast continue.
UPDATE: Sean O added some context in the comments that I thought I would add to the post....
"As a UConn fan, let me add context. The AD is NOT mad about the UConn/Rutgers game because that was made before the USF game. He is mad about the Nov. 10th game against Cincinnati at ESPNU, and that decision was mad Monday."
UConn Unhappy Over Game On ESPNU (CNN)