May 17, 2011
With the NFL lockout extended until at least late June or early July, speculation continues about what programming might fill a television void should the lockout extend into the season.
The popular answer has been the Pac-12, which already has struck a lucrative deal with ESPN and FOX as broadcasting partners. But what about one of ESPN's old standbys filling he void? What about the WAC?
That's what The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is asking as ESPN looks for programming options. After all, there's probably someone, somewhere who would rather watch Idaho and Louisiana Tech instead of the Patriots and the Jets, right? Especially if there are no reruns of the World Series of Poker available.
While ESPN and the WAC are television partners, WAC commissioner Karl Benson said there have been no talks regarding his conference and television availability on Sunday evenings, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't listen.
"I think we would always consider it (a Sunday date)," Benson told the paper. "We've played some Sunday games in the past, at ESPN's request."
The WAC and Conference USA played Sunday games on ESPN in November of 2008 and '09 and the WAC also played some Sunday games on Labor Day weekend.
However, ESPN spokesman Michael Humes wasn't sure the WAC would be the channel's top target should the lockout continue through the NFL season.
"We are optimistic that everything will get resolved," Hunes told the paper. "We are evaluating a number of alternate programming scenarios to minimize the impact of potential lost games."
Graham Watson is a regular contributor to Dr. Saturday. Follow her on Twitter: @Yahoo_Graham