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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Warriors catching TV eyes

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Thanks to quarterback Colt Brennan and the University of Hawai'i's record-setting offense, nearly half the Warriors' football games this season could be shown on network cable television, three of them on Fridays.

Already four Warriors' games are earmarked for ESPN and two more could find their way there for a record six after the projected 13-game schedule is finalized, people involved in the process have said.

The TV schedule could be finalized Sunday when WAC athletics directors meet at the Final Four in Atlanta.

ESPN has already notified the Western Athletic Conference of interest in the Oct. 12 game at San Jose State, Nov. 10 home game with Fresno State, Nov. 23 home game against Boise State and Dec. 1 Washington games.

Additionally, ESPN is reportedly looking at the Nov. 17 game at Nevada.

Moreover, should UH add a game of interest for either the Oct. 20 or Nov. 3 slots, ESPN or another network could pick that one up as well.

UH athletic director Herman Frazier has said he intends to add two games to the 11 the Warriors have already announced, one of which would be a Division I-A opponent on the road for Oct. 20 or Nov. 3.

The other shapes up as a Division I-AA team for the Sept. 1 opener. UH has discussed the opening with Northern Colorado.

Under terms of the WAC's agreement with ESPN, the network is obligated to pick up at least eight conference games, according to associate commissioner Jeff Hurd. He said it is likely ESPN will take eight to 10. Non-conference away games, not subject to the agreement, could add two to five more, Hurd said.

"There's no question with Colt Brennan and that offense, they're an inviting team (for TV)," Hurd said.

It remains to be seen if Nevada will consent to move its game with UH to a Friday. UH's other Friday games are Boise State and San Jose State.

Under conference policy that compensates home teams for moving games off of Saturday to non-traditional dates to accommodate TV, UH would receive $100,000 for switching the Boise State game to Friday. Road teams do not receive anything for games that are switched.

ABC, which is part of the WAC TV package, has until June to announce which games, if any, it might want to pick up. It has taken at least two games each of the past two years.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.