Thursday, May 8, 2003

UC, Ch.19 set 10-year deal



By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WXIX-TV will continue to broadcast University of Cincinnati basketball games through the 2012-13 season.

The station announced a new 10-year agreement Wednesday with UC. The previous five-year agreement expired at the end of last season.

Under the new contract, WXIX (Channel 19) will broadcast a minimum of 13 games per season, although vice-president/general manager John Long said he hopes the station will broadcast more than the minimum.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

"I've been here for seven or eight months," Long said. "I see UC basketball as the premier local programming attraction. It's the local event and has been for a number of years.

"If you look at the landscape, it's the biggest draw, including the Reds. By being on cable, they don't come close to the audience we generate with UC basketball."

Under the agreement, Channel 19 also will broadcast two UC football games per year and will continue to air both coaches shows.

UC basketball is the only major local sports entity still broadcast locally over the air rather than on cable. Both Xavier basketball and the Reds are on Fox Sports Net. Bengals games, except for the preseason games, which are broadcast locally on WKRC-TV (Channel 12), are part of the networks' package with the NFL.

E-mail bkoch@enquirer.com




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