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Kansas State's Currie ponders TV possibilities

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 12:02 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 12:13 a.m.

MANHATTAN — In early May, before talk of conference realignment had gone mainstream, Kansas State athletic director John Currie expressed interest in distributing every Wildcat sporting event to a national audience.

He offered little detail, but threw out ideas such as streaming live video of volleyball games on the school's athletic website. He also envisioned a widespread radio feed allowing K-State fans to listen to baseball games on their smart phones.

Fast forward a month, and K-State finds itself in a 10-team Big 12 that allows its members to launch individual TV networks. Suddenly, Currie can think beyond the Internet.

In coming years, K-State fans could be tuning into a Wildcat cable channel. Though no network is currently being planned, Currie said it is an intriguing possibility.

"As we've talked about throughout this year, we're going to continue to work hard to figure out how to deliver K-State to our people, wherever they are," Currie said.

Currie thinks the first priority will always be getting football and men's basketball games on TV via ESPN, ABC and Fox Sports Net, the Big 12's television partners.

K-State football will play at least one game on all three networks this season. It's unlikely matchups against Missouri State, Central Florida and North Texas will be found anywhere other than radio.

A personalized network would give those games a home. Everything from women's basketball games to track meets could be televised on the same channel.

The Big Ten Network, which televises conference sports of all kinds on its channels, is popular and a cash machine. University-specific networks, designed on the same model, could also be successful.

Should K-State desire a more diverse lineup and sharing of the start-up costs, the Wildcats could team up with Kansas as they did throughout the conference realignment process to create a network that serves the entire state. Currie said he would not rule out such a partnership.

Should a K-State TV network ever move past the idea stage, it will be a priority for Currie.

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