Changes In Order For Broadcast of Some Games

The ever-changing face of television may result in a different approach for WVU football games that aren't televised live in 2002.

Plans are currently being formulated to move away from the full game delayed broadcasts that have been aired by the Mountaineer Sports Network in previous years. Those broadcasts, which were aired when a WVU football game was not televised live, typically were shown at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday nights.

Difficulty in clearing local airtime for those broadcasts, along with a declining advertising market and increased costs for onsite production equipment, are leading WVU to look at alternatives to a full game broadcast.

"We're moving toward offering a one hour highlights driven show for those games that aren't televised," associate Athletic Director Mike Parsons told "It could be something along the lines of the old Notre Dame highlights shows that were hosted by Lindsay Nelson."

Such a show would eliminate some of the less compelling game action in order to fit within the one-hour timeframe. The new show would be in addition to the current Mountaineer Magazine, a half-hour football show that focuses more on features than game highlights. Parsons believes there is room in the fold for both types of shows.

Parsons cited several factors in the move away from delayed rebroadcasts of the games.

"With the way TV games are scheduled now, we often don't know whether a game will be picked up or not until a couple of weeks before the game. At that point we have to try to arrange production facilities, including a truck. That's very expensive to do on late notice.

"We're also finding that it's more difficult to clear two and a half or three hours of airtime on the stations that were carrying the broadcasts. For example, NBC affiliates were reluctant to preempt Saturday Night Live to carry the games."

Other factors include the increasing difficulty in lining up advertising for the rebroadcast. A one-hour show should be an easier sell, and would also be easier to slot into local programming on various stations.

Full details on the mew program have not yet been ironed out, but could be completed within the next couple of weeks.

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