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Free football? We’ll know by Monday

Posted October 20, 2010, 08:44 AM HST Updated October 20, 2010, 11:21 AM HST
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By Fred Guzman

Fans of Hawaii football could be getting an extra televised game that doesn’t require a pay-per-view subscription. Although good news for those of us who don’t have the package, it would be bad news for the university’s cash-strapped athletic department.

ESPN is seriously considering whether to pick Hawaii’s Nov. 6 game at nationally third-ranked Boise State. That decision hinges on UH – which is off to a 5-2 start that includes a 3-0 mark in the WAC – being able to post a road victory over Utah State on Saturday.

If that happens — and a decision is due Monday — UH fans will able to view the game on cable. But it would also deprive Hawaii of a lucrative element of its pay-per-view package. The Star-Advertiser projects a payday of $200,000 or more for that game.

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The package has had upward of 12,000 for its most popular games, including more than 5,000 individual purchases, since its inception.

The package cost Oahu subscribers $500 and Neighbor Island fans $250. On a per-game basis, the cost of watching an individual game costs between $25 and $65.

Last year’s package did about $3.4 million in sales. UH’s share was $2.5 million. Whether UH’s payout would be reduced this year in the event ESPN adds the Boise State game could will depend on financial thresholds contained in the PPV contract.

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