The End of the Innocence

“I just got up and got the UConn tread marks off my back.”
(CPTV President and CEO Jerry Franklin to the Connecticut Post.)

My, my, my.  We seldom hear State U. spoken of in such bitter terms, but you’ll have to pardon Jerry Franklin.

Connecticut Public Television has been broadcasting UConn women’s basketball for 18  years.   CPTV has been instrumental in growing the sport, and made UConn women’s basketball the centerpiece of its programming.  (And yes, the pledge drives during games were an important part of CPTV’s fundraising.)

Now, two relative newcomers to Connecticut, UConn President Susan Herbst and Athletic Director Warde Manuel, have awarded the contract to SNY, the cable channel that’s home to men’s basketball and football.  Herbst and Manuel know UConn women’s basketball for what it is, not what it was.

(By the way, for you ‘full disclosure’ fans, I just learned yesterday that SNY is managed by Comcast, which owns NBC Connecticut.  SNY will eventually be headquartered in Stamford, future home of the NBC Sports Channel.)

This was one of those rare decisions that really wasn’t “about the money.”  By all accounts, CPTV’s bid was within $20,000 of SNY’s.  It is apparently about the marketing opportunities offered by SNY, and its greater “reach.”

It’s easy to say “that’s business.”  And it is.

But this bit of business raises another question.

Is what’s good for UConn always good for Connecticut?


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Media, News, People, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The End of the Innocence

  1. Beckie says:

    Wouldn’t that wider reach bring in more money to the University? By reaching more alumni and supporters, the University is probably also thinking it’s going to receive more in donations. So, it really IS about the money. So much for loyalty.
    Then again, I always thought the goal of any university was education, not turning out star athletes who leave said education behind to make mega money in the big leagues, which in itself is all about money. I’m sensing a theme here.

    • Beckie says:

      Funny thing is… matter how much money they get (state funds, donations, tuition/fees, etc.), the cost of tuition and fees will never go down. I shutter to think what a college education will cost when it’s time for my daughter to go. That is, ANY college, not just UCONN. She told me about a week ago she could be a plumber. I said “yes, you could be,” thinking in the back of my mind “but I’d like you to aspire to more.” After dealing with a contractor, plumbers and electricians in the last 2 months, and looking at the rising cost of a college degree, I’m changing my tune.

      • Gerry says:

        You should. I come from 3 generations of plumbers, and if I’d had half a brain I would have been one.

    • Simple-Not Easy says:

      Have your daughter apply to Holy Cross in Worcester, MA..If you can get accepted they will provide the Financial Need, whatever it takes. Even 100%..They years back won the NCAA and NIT in Basketball. They graduate 100% of their Players. George Blaney was Head Basketball Coach there for over 20 years. Look them up on the WEB.

      • Beckie says:

        Thanks for the advice. She’s only 3 1/2 right now so we have some time. And who knows? Next week, she’ll probably want to be something else. Since Christmas, in addition to the plumber from last week, she’s wanted to be a teacher, an astronaut, a zoo keeper, various forms of a doctor (treating animals, grown ups, kids, etc.,) a firefighter, a superhero… get the idea. Honestly, as long as she’s happy, I’ll be happy.

  2. J.A. Scott says:

    Kabletown – ooops, Comcast, 1; CPTV (and those of us who can”t get SNY), 0….

  3. J.A. Scott says:


  4. Jim H. says:

    Gerry: Men’s FB and BKB already part of the SNY “family” —
    — so we could state it was a just matter of time before the women’s gravy train’s last stop was SNY Terminal. And, yes — it IS never about the money. Right.

  5. Tony K. says:

    Just hope they broadcast all the games like CPTV did , not just a select few !

  6. jaeceekay says:

    I know this won’t matter to the powers that be, but my husband is an alumnus and this greedy, unconscionable play will also mark the end of our donations to the University.

  7. Gene says:

    “I come from 3 generations of plumbers, and if I’d had half a brain I would have been one.”
    Gee, I always thought you had half a brain…rimshot.
    OK. Just kidding. I couldn’t resist the straight line.
    And I agree, this deal seems kinda sad.

  8. T says:

    Franklin obviously dropped ball. Public TV’s cheapness has caught up with them. If you want to win a contract-you must make a great deal-not the same deal. Business 101 Jerry.

  9. Bob's Box says:

    No not the cheapness of public TV, but pissing off the fake right neocons with their fake-left propaganda, which gives said fake right the impetus to cut off funding for PBS and NPR. I admit I have watched CPTV for the UCONN Women’s basketball games, and only that. I do not watch PBS and have not for years and I could care less what happens to it. As Billy Joel sang in “Pressure”

    All your life
    Is channel thirteen
    Sesame Street
    What does it mean?

    (Channel 13 of course referring to WNET, the nation’s biggest PBS station, which by the way began as commercial station WNTA, before a group of elites bought the channel and turned it into the educational channel WNDT, later to become WNET for National Educational TV, the forerunner to PBS. On YouTube, there is a clip of Edward R Murrow “signing on” the new WNDT if you will.)

    But as for SNY, it’s also the TV home of the NY Mets. Now didn’t I read in a Q-Poll the Yankees beat out the Red Sox as CT’s favorite baseball team…with the Mets practically persona non grata? Actually, the SNY deal is one with ESPN Regional TV (d/b/a Big East Network…and there should be a Big East Network the same way there is a Big Ten Network on cable/satellite). Most of CT’s cable systems carry SNY…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s