SBD/January 25, 2011/Media

Media Notes

Univ. of Oklahoma may partner with Fox Sports on proposed network
MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds cites sources as saying that the Univ. of Oklahoma "might be interested in working with Fox Sports" on the proposed Sooner network. Fox Sports was "said to have offered" between $3-5M in annual rights to the Univ. of Texas to partner on UT's forthcoming network "before being trumped by ESPN's far more lucrative bid." Fox operates FS Oklahoma and "has ties to the Big 12 Conference, whose football TV rights expire after next season." Other observers believe that OU "could bypass a third party entirely and work directly with Cox Communications, the predominant cable operator in Oklahoma, perhaps in some sort of revenue-sharing arrangement" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 1/24 issue).

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS: In Salt Lake City, Tony Jones reports Comcast is "pushing hard for Utah State to be invited to the Mountain West Conference, in an effort to keep a foothold in the Utah television market." As a result, USU "could be in line to receive an invitation to join the MWC, should the league expand to 12 teams." The MWC BOD is meeting this week in Las Vegas, and sources said that "expansion is on the table." Sources also noted that MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson "met with Comcast late last week" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/25).

SLIM PICKINGS: In London, Patrick Foster reports sports organizations "reacted angrily yesterday to an announcement by the BBC that it is to cut coverage of minority sports on its website, in order to focus on more high-profile events." BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said that the network "would cut 360 posts from BBC Online as it looked to slash" money from its budget. The BBC also announced there will be a "reduction in the overall amount of sports news" on its website. BBC Sport Head of Interactive Ben Gallop: "There will be less coverage of those sports and events that fall outside our main editorial priorities" (LONDON TIMES, 1/25).
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