Connecticut Public Television is losing its broadcast rights to University of Connecticut women’s basketball, which has been a huge ratings winner for the station for the past 18 years (Current, Dec. 12, 2011). In a four-year, $4.5 million deal, the university selected SportsNet NY to show the games, according to NBC Connecticut.
“This new agreement with SNY will bring UConn women’s basketball to more Husky fans than ever before throughout the region and the nation,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement.
“Obviously we are devastated and disappointed that they went with a New York-based firm,” CPTV President Jerry Franklin told NBC. “We have had an 18-year history with UConn and thousands of people have told me over the years that we helped build UConn women’s basketball into a national phenomenon. We have been inundated with people who are upset about this, and tomorrow there with be thousands more people who are upset. We think we have done more to increase visibility of women’s basketball than any other media outlet.” The games drew ratings up to 16 shares, Franklin told Current last year.
Franklin said CPTV requested a chance to match SNY’s bid, but was not given that opportunity.