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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Warriors' win big with pay per view

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The most successful football season in school history helped the University of Hawai'i nearly double its pay-per-view proceeds, the school said yesterday.

Associate athletic director John McNamara said UH will receive about $794,000 as its share of PPV sales, compared with $400,000 for 2006.

Overall, UH expects to realize $2.54 million from the sale of local TV rights, he said. UH is guaranteed $1.75 million plus a percentage of PPV sales under a contract now being renegotiated.

"Last year's total take was very good considering the games which we lost (to ESPN) that would have been significant revenue generators on the PPV package," McNamara said.

PPV games are produced by KFVE and distributed by Oceanic Time Warner Cable, which shares in the proceeds. Games shown on ESPN, which included sellout home games against Boise State and Washington, are not part of the package.

As part of the new TV package, McNamara said, UH is looking at making road games either free or offering a lower price for football season-ticket holders.

"That's very important to us," he said. "We want to continue building the season-ticket base and as we look forward to doing that for the 2008 season, we feel this benefit will really help us, not only to (attract) additional folks, but to keep current season-ticket holders on board."

UH, which sold about 23,000 season tickets in 2007, has a goal of 30,000 for 2008.

KFVE, which has held local TV rights to UH sports since 1984, has exclusive negotiating rights with UH until the end of next month. After that, according to officials, the athletic department can solicit additional bids.

McNamara and John Fink, KFVE vice president and general manager, said they have begun preliminary negotiations.

"We've had initial discussions and we'll certainly get back with UH in the next 30 to 45 days," Fink said. "We'll try to put together something that makes sense for all parties involved and that's what we've done the last 25 years and, we hope, can move forward."

KFVE shows approximately 120 UH sports events a year 19 on PPV. Home football games that are shown live on PPV are broadcast free a day later.

McNamara said UH has also begun negotiations with its radio partner, ESPN 1420 (KKEA). The station paid UH $1 million over three years.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.