The new TV deal is done…at least $550k more per year!

About the increased money under the new TV deal, JD said:
“This is a very significant improvement and one we can put to good use.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Sugar Bowl season continues to be sweet for the University of Hawai’i athletic department, which cashed in with a 30-percent hike in guaranteed rights fees for a new local television contract announced yesterday. Coming off its 12-1 football season and Sugar Bowl appearance, the athletic department will receive at least $2.3 million per year for a minimum of three years and a provision for six years under the terms of an agreement with Oceanic Time Warner Cable and KFVE. That is a $550,000 per year increase on the $1.75 million UH had been receiving and the school will earn more if pay-per-view sales of its games reach higher levels.”

JD said that this money will not balance their budget, but:
“it is money we can use.” (HA)

About their TV deal, JD said:
“I believe this is one of the most lucrative local television packages in the country. Through this relationship, our fans have enjoyed extensive coverage of UH sporting events and the revenue has really helped support our (athletes).” (HA)

HA Note: “Pay-per-view rates for the 2008-09 school year have yet to be announced but John Fink, vice president and general manager of KFVE/KHNL, said he expects them to be “similar” to 2007 when season packages on O’ahu were $330 for renewals and $385 for new customers.”

HA Note: “For the first time, UH will offer football season ticket holders a 50-percent discount on a special road pay-per-view package. Season tickets must be purchased by July 18 to qualify for the discount, UH said.”

HA Note: “If revenues reach $7.5 million in the first three years of the contract, it automatically rolls into a six-year deal, officials said. If not, the parties may still agree to extend it but are not obligated to do so. In addition to the rights fees, UH said it will receive “more than $350,000″ annually in production and advertising time on KFVE, KHNL and Oceanic.”

HA Note: “While the contract extends what has been a 25-year relationship with KFVE/KHNL and its predecessors, who pioneered a UH package in 1984, it also marks a shift in how the partnership is weighted. Heretofore all contracts were with KFVE/KHNL while Oceanic and the stations had a subcontract. But the new agreement calls for Oceanic to be the majority partner, paying $1.8 million per year in rights fees with the remaining $500,000 coming from KFVE, according to people involved. Splits of the proceeds will reflect the investment, officials said.”

About whether or not Jim Leahey will retain his job, John Fink said:
“we’re in discussions and, hopefully, we can work something out.” (HA)

HA Note: “New athletic director Jim Donovan and associate athletic director John McNamara were able to enlist them in the vision of “growing the product” at a time when it has become a necessity for UH. It is a vision Donovan has been preaching to anyone who will listen — and, now, some influential folks have. This after a school-best 12-1 football season and heading into one of its toughest schedules in a challenging economic climate.”

Oceanic President Nate Smith said about the TV deal:
“part of the reason of giving them a bigger base is we’re only as good as what they produce, so, really, it is an investment for us. UH needs the means to grow.” (HA)

Thanking their TV partners, JD said:
“I’d like to extend my warm mahalo to Norm Santos and Nate Smith (of Oceanic) and John Fink (of KFVE) for their support in stepping up again. I asked them along the way to make sure we protect the product.” (HSB)

“I asked them to protect the product, because we’ve had some tremendous success here at UH athletics. It all starts with exposure and revenue, and in both cases they stepped up to the plate and helped us.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Oceanic will again shoulder Pay-Per-View revolving around a UH football package, but now takes on more than half of the payment in the contract with the option of new mediums (Webcasting, podcasting) in the future.”

About KFVE keeping the regular TV rights, Fink said:
“The viewer will notice no changes. I think the most important thing for us is the pay-per-view concept and package remains as it is. At the end of the day, it’s the same old, same old, but that’s a positive, as opposed to often when we lament that things don’t change. I think there’s something to be said for continuity and as it’s been said by UH and us, the patient’s not sick — let’s not dissect him.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Oceanic, in contrast, intends to apply new mediums to its experience in the coming years — interactive TV input during games, Webcasting, and podcasting. In the new contract, Oceanic absorbs a greater share than KFVE of the front-loaded amount due to UH each year, a switch from their previous role. Essentially, KFVE pays less, but also stands to gain less from pay-per-view and other revenue.”

About how they will come out about the same under this TV deal, Fink said:
“At the end of the day it’s probably going to be about even (as a positive thing for KFVE).” (HSB)

About how Oceanic will look to grow its revenue from other means under this contract, Smith said:
“I think the Hawaii audience has gotten very comfortable with the traditional broadcast (on KFVE). And you’re always at risk on change, and I’d rather evolve. If we took over the broadcast, did new announcers and a new style of direction, all of that, you’re at risk of alienating some of your existing audience. Now we can evolve, keep the existing audience and start building a new one. I think it’s a much healthier way to look at that in terms of long-term.” (HSB)

Asked about broadcasting in HD, Smith said:
“I’d say it’s within the next couple years. Which year and when is a little difficult to predict, but it’s coming.” (HSB)

About their tough budgetary situation, JD said:
“Certainly we are facing some financial challenges here in the athletic department on an annual basis, and we’re working to try and knock that down and get our arms around it, go forward without increasing our overall, carryover deficit. It won’t solve our budget problems, but it’s a step in the right direction.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Donovan reiterated that getting people to events in person was still a top priority, and mentioned an upcoming family ticket package deal thought up by associate athletic director John McNamara.”

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