A breath of fresh airwaves

BYU has owned Utah lately — at least as far as television access is concerned. That trend is about to change.

For nearly two years, the partnership between KSL and BYU athletics has allowed Cougar fans to enjoy a clear advantage over rival Ute fans by way of in-depth television coverage.

Wednesday, the U athletic department leveled the playing field when it announced a newly formed television partnership with KTVX (ABC 4), KUCW (CW 30) and The Hive TV.

Beginning with Cougar Diary, and now with CougarBeat on SportsBeat Sunday, BYU fans have had access to specialized programming — including coaches shows with head basketball coach Dave Rose and head football coach Bronco Mendenhall — that focuses solely on their beloved Cougar teams. In comparison, Ute fans have been starving for such access.

ABC 4 Sports Director Wes Ruff will now serve as the host of Utah’s own coaches shows, which will compete in the same time slot — Sunday nights at 10:30 — in which KSL broadcasts BYU’s version of the show.

“We think this is just what Utah fans are looking for,” said ABC 4 Vice President and General Manager David D’Antuono. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with a university so rich in history, tradition and success in its athletics department as the University of Utah.”

KTVX, KUCW and The Hive TV will not take the place of the mtn., CSTV or the Versus network in terms of actual game broadcasts.

Unlike KSL’s direct association with BYU — KSL is run by Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by Bonneville International Corportation, which is in turn owned by The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints — the newly formed partnership of ABC 4, CW 30 and The Hive TV with Utah Sports Properties is simply a multi-year agreement.

The debut date for this new U athletic coverage has not been announced.

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