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UH, Oceanic in talks about athletics on TV

November 5, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii began renegotiating a deal to televise its sports with Oceanic Time Warner, but a local television station group is trying to show its interest.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday that the university and the cable company began exclusive negotiations last week. The negotiations can continue until Feb. 28 and be extended to other parties if no deal is reached.

Athletic Director Ben Jay says talks haven't happened in person yet but are being handled by Time Warner Cable's regional headquarters in Los Angeles.

"We're talking back and forth," Jay said.

A local television station group that operates KHNL and KGMB and has a shared services agreement with KFVE has publicly pushed for its own deal.

KHNL/KGMB General Manager Rick Blangiardi said it could bring more value and offer the games on free TV. But he says Oceanic can pay the university more money because it collects subscriber fees.

"The only thing I would give Time Warner in this occasion is the ability to write a larger check," Blangiardi has said.

A Time Warner Cable official declined comment to The Associated Press.

Both the TV stations and Oceanic have sponsored Hawaii athletics and have other ties to the university.

KHNL/KGMB ran an annual telethon that raised $208,000 for the athletic department, while Oceanic installed wireless Internet access in the Stan Sheriff Center, which the university says is worth about $200,000. KFVE also offered the university a year of free advertising, worth about $75,000, according to University of Hawaii, Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple.

University officials say the contributions are not linked to the TV rights.



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