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Thursday, August 31, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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UW Football Notebook: Season opener will not be on TV

Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington football fans who read of a new agreement last month between the school and Fox Sports Net Northwest might have assumed that Saturday's season opener against San Jose State would be televised.

It won't be, even though a news release at the time said the "new agreement nearly guarantees that all games involving" UW's football and men's basketball teams "will be seen locally on either FSN or a national carrier."

Getting that done, however, is a little more complicated than it sounds.

All Pac-10 football games first fall under the conference's TV agreements with other networks, specifically ABC, TBS and Fox Sports.

Games not selected for those networks are then eligible for local telecast on FSN Northwest, but only if they don't conflict with other Pac-10 games being telecast by the other networks.

That is what's keeping this week's game off TV. The UW-San Jose State game is the only one of the seven Pac-10 games being played Saturday not slated for live TV. That means all of the Pac-10's "broadcast windows" are filled and that UW and FSN Northwest cannot come to a separate agreement to put the game on TV.

Three UW games are set for live TV — Oklahoma (ABC), Fresno State (FSN Northwest) and Washington State (FSN). The Oregon State game will also be seen on FSN Northwest if it's not picked up by one of the other networks.

All other games are uncertain, and will be televised only if they are picked up by one of the other networks or if there is an available window that weekend allowing FSN Northwest to do it. Game time is also a factor. The Huskies can change the game time for home games to get it in an available window, if necessary, but are at the mercy of the opponent for road games.

Mark Shuken, vice president and general manager of FSN Northwest, said Wednesday that "every UW game we are allowed to carry within the Pac-10 TV deal we are going to do."

Added UW athletic director Todd Turner: "Before, they [FSN Northwest] had no obligation. Now, if it is available, they have to put [UW football games] on."

Even if there was no live TV, hardcore fans in the past could be satisfied knowing that the games would be replayed on Sunday afternoons. But those have also been killed in favor of a half-hour highlights show on Thursday nights.

FSN Northwest used to carry Sunday replays for UW, WSU and Oregon State but has dropped them all in recent years. Shuken said the replays cost $25,000-$35,000 to produce and drew ratings that "statistically were zero. It just didn't make any sense for us to continue doing them."

However, fans will be able to relive every game through a special Internet replay via the Dawg Channel on www.GoHuskies.com. Games will be available in their entirety each Tuesday from 5 p.m. to midnight. There will be no subscription fee for any content on the Dawg Channel this season.

Notes

• The team's health appears good. DE Greyson Gunheim, SS C.J. Wallace and CB Dashon Goldson returned to practice Tuesday, though Wallace did not do any contact work. Coach Tyrone Willingham said all are on track to play Saturday. The only two who have been ruled out are WRs Cody Ellis (clavicle) and Quintin Daniels (hand).

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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