Pay TV for football a hit so far, UH says
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
Pay-per-view cable sales of University of Hawai'i football are bringing in a more than $100,000 per game and could allow the school to offset its drop in television rights fees, a UH official said yesterday.
The first five pay-per-view home dates have produced $550,000 in sales, according to Paul Costello, UH vice president for external affairs.
"With two games left, we're doing very well," Costello said. "(Pay-per-view) has been a boon to the university."
For UH, which receives 70 percent of the receipts (the balance going to partners Oceanic Cablevision and KFVE), that means royalties so far of approximately $385,000.
Costello said he is hopeful the combination of the success of the broadcasts, which have grown by 400-to-500 purchases per game after some first-game glitches, and the Warriors' 7-2 start will continue to increase the audience for the final two pay-per-view games against Cincinnati and San Diego State.
UH's only other home game, Nov. 30 against Alabama, will be televised by ESPN.
Costello said he anticipates that UH's share of the final receipts could reach $600,000, which would make up for the shortfall in television rights fees.
Last year UH received $1.3 million in local rights fees from KFVE, which televised more than 100 school sporting events. But, KFVE, which cited a drop in local advertising and increase in games lost to ESPN under the Western Athletic Conference contract, is paying $700,000 this year.
Costello said the pay-per-view broadcasts are seen in approximately 10,000 homes and 65 commercial establishments.
O'ahu customers pay $12.95 per game ($75 for the seven-game season ticket) while Neighbor Island customers are charged $5 per game ($25 for the season). Businesses pay a sliding scale according to seating capacity, Costello said.
Costello said while it is hard to measure the effect pay-per-view has had on the gate at Aloha Stadium, "I believe it has created some new fans for the university."
He said UH will reassess the pay-per-view results after the season.