“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?