SBJ/October 2 - 8, 2006/This Weeks News

D-III conference’s games on Fox College Sports

What do you do if you’re up against several college sports networks and you need to fill your schedule? If you’re Fox College Sports, you start looking to Division III sports.

Last week, Fox College Sports signed a one-year agreement to carry football games from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on a tape-delayed basis this season.

“We have a lot of real estate,” said David Rone, Fox College Sports’ general manager. “A deal like this really drives home the point that we are all things to all fans.”

Fox is not paying a rights fee for the games, and it is selling all of the ad time. Fox Sports Net will sell the ads as part of a broader offering that encompasses several of its networks.

Fox College Sports picked up the rights from When We Were Young Productions, which will produce each of the games.

In such a distribution deal, the conference typically forgoes a license fee and advertising revenue to get exposure for its program. The conference clearly was excited by the national distribution that Fox College Sports provides, even if the network has only 6 million subscribers.

Conference Commissioner Gary Karner described the deal as “very likely the most significant media development in the history of Division III athletics.”

The most recent game to go out nationally on Fox College Sports was the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh game, which was shown on tape delay at 11:15 p.m. ET last Wednesday, four days after the game was played.

The WIAC hopes Fox College Sports will carry other sports eventually.

“We’ll have to take a look at that down the road,” Rone said.

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