Postcard: I want my CSTV
The idea of
a televised national college hockey game of the week has always
had a chorus of support in the sport’s community, as loud
and clear as a great anthem singer.
somebody willing to listen.
“Among the early
phone calls and emails we’ve received over the last eight
months, we’ve gotten the most interest, by some margin, in
hockey,” said Chris Bevilacqua, co-founder and executive vice
president of College Sports Television, a much-anticipated network
set to debut in the next three months.
Thanks in no small part
to that support, Bevilacqua and his colleagues envision college
hockey coverage that goes beyond just a game of the week. He’s
thinking of a national magazine show, on-site reporters at events
like the Frozen Four, and in-depth, Olympic-style profiles of the
players and coaches.
of the grand planning that has gone into CSTV, which includes a
street-level broadcast center in Manhattan and agreements with 27
college athletic conference, including the CCHA.
The six college hockey
commissioners aren’t among those who have signed a deal for
CSTV, however, which leads to the first of several legitimate questions.
Will that deal happen? And if it does, where can we find CSTV?
“I have spent a
lot of time with the six commissioners who represent the teams across
the country, and as you might imagine there’s widespread support
for additional coverage,” he said. “They all want that
to happen – why wouldn’t they? The only league that
we’ve put together a long-term package with is the CCHA, but
we’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing possibilities
as a group. We’re talking about creating a consistent, national,
best-of-the-best package that would cover the entire 25 weeks of
Bevilacqua hopes for
a magazine show to work in tandem with the game of the week package,
and says that the network would cover the Frozen Four as a news
event, even though ESPN has the rights to the games. That would
follow the lead of the Golf Channel, which, Bevilacqua says, enjoys
its highest ratings during the Masters even though CBS covers the
As for finding the programming
on your dial – or satellite – CSTV hopes to gain support
during a six-week “Countdown to CSTV” leading up to
its official launch on April 7. The network will offer free access
to its signal to cable and satellite providers for select events
during that time, with the hope that viewers like what they see
and ask their providers to sign up for the network in April.
There are no
college hockey broadcasts currently planned for that six-week period,
but adding a few might prove helpful in persuading cable and satellite
companies. The network has already heard first-hand the voice of
college hockey fans, and they want more coverage.