Warhawks to be televised on Fox Sports Net

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Tom Miller
Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference hits the big-time today.

For the first time, a WIAC football game will be aired live on a major cable outlet.

The Stout-at-Whitewater game will be televised live on both FOX Sports Wisconsin—the network that televises Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks games—and FOX Sports North at 2:30 p.m.

“It’s definitely great for the conference,” WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner said Friday afternoon.

In addition, the Stout-at-Platteville game will be televised live Oct. 26, along with the expected showdown Nov. 2 when Platteville travels to Whitewater for the Warhawks’ homecoming game.

Warhawk home games have been televised live on Charter cable local channels, and the Warhawks have been on ESPN channels during their NCAA Division III championship games against Mount Union. In addition, Time Warner provided live coverage of last year’s Whitewater-Oshkosh football game, and the ABC affiliate in La Crosse televises the La Crosse-Eau Claire game each year.

This three-game package is a step up from that.

PlayOn! Sports Midwest, a Madison-based production company, has done games for FOX Sports Wisconsin in the past. Those games were telecast on tape-delay.

“That faded away three to five years ago,” Karner said. “But there still remained some interest.”

PlayOn! Sports Midwest and FOX Sports Wisconsin approached the conference this year about televising some games live.

“The ideal scenario would have football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s hockey, along with championship events, where you go into each and every year knowing they would be on live television,” Karner said. “The thing is that production costs for live events are greater than they are for tape-delay.”

While the plans aren’t finalized, Karner hopes to work out a deal to televise a few men’s and women’s basketball games this season.

This afternoon’s debut game at Whitewater is not in the greatest time slot. The Northwestern-Wisconsin game starts at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on ABC.

“It’s not the best head-to-head matchup,” Karner said. “We’re hoping that people sitting at home in their living rooms will, at the very worst, switch back and forth.”

Karner said there is a possibility the WIAC games could be replayed later on the national Fox College Sports channels.

The conference benefits from the exposure that being on FOX Sports Wisconsin and FOX Sports North presents.

FOX Sports Wisconsin reaches more than 1.5 million homes, while FOX Sports North reaches more than 2.5 million homes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

And while there is no multimillion-dollar contract involved such as the ones ESPN and CBS dish out to the Division I conferences, Karner and the WIAC are grateful to be on regional live TV.

“We’re happy as heck the games are on,” Karner said.

WIAC Centennial documentary to air

A documentary commemorating the WIAC Centennial will be broadcast for the first time at 5:30 p.m. today on FOX Sports Wisconsin.

“The WIAC Centennial:  A Celebration of Excellence … Past, Present and for the Future” was produced by PlayOn Sports—Midwest. It will be aired 17 more times during the next six weeks.

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