For starters, the deal includes the provision that Dish will (finally) offer ESPNU in high definition. Two Cougar games last season were shown on ESPNU. Secondly, Dish will become the first service to offer a pay-TV operator's content outside a traditional TV subscription.
In other words, Dish is taking the first steps towards offering a Netflix-like TV service to people who would rather stream TV over the Internet than watch via a satellite dish.
Dish hasn't spelled out the details yet. And it's unlikely Cougar fans could go all the way and "cut the cord" this year and still get all the ESPN content they currently receive through a customary TV subscription, (not to mention access to the Pac-12 Nets.) But long-term, things appear to be moving that direction after what is being called a landmark agreement.
For this upcoming season, Dish customers will gain full access for the first time to ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, which allow for live and on-demand program viewing on mobile devices in or out of the home. (Again, exactly what content will be available here has not been spelled out.)
Also part of the deal -- Dish will carry both the Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC Network once it launches in August. Both networks are owned by ESPN.
Prior to the agreement, media experts had speculated that either Dish or DirecTV would carry the new SEC Network, but probably not both. Meanwhile, DirecTV and the Pac-12 Networks remain at an impasse 19 months after the conference launched their network.
SPEAKING OF ESPNU, that might end up bring the channel to tune to when the Cougs play at Nevada on Sep. 6. Unless of course you're planning on traveling to Reno.
And if you're planning to go, you might want to look into booking now. The hot air balloon races, a big event in Reno, is being held that weekend.
The El Dorado is going to be Cougar Central for the game and the hotel is blocking rooms off for Cougar fans. It's within walking distance to the stadium – a good thing because if you've been to Nevada, you know parking can be a challenge. For complete information, fans can contact Rick Murdock here. Correction: The Cougar team will not be staying at the El Dorado.
IN WOMEN'S HOOPS, Washington State guards Lia Galdeira and Tia Presley became the first Cougar teammates to earn All-Pac-12 honors in the same season in program history. In so doing, Galdeira and Presley join a select group. Only five other women basketballers in WSU history have earned first-team All-Pac-10/12 recognition: Jonni Gray in 1988 and 1989; Angie Weir Miller in 1990; Jenni Ruff in 1996; Jade Hyett in 1997; and Tricia Lamb in 1999.
Galdeira, a sophomore, finished the regular season second on the team and ninth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.7 ppg. Her 73 steals were second on the team and she led WSU with 54 3-pointers. Galdeira also received All-Defensive Team honorable mention for the second consecutive year. Presley, a junior, lead the Cougars and was sixth in the conference in scoring at 18.9 ppg. She leads WSU in shooting percentage (.444), is second in steals (54) and third in assists (54).
The Cougars face Oregon Thursday in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena in Seattle. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.
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