There are lots of good college basketball games on Friday, the first official day of the season. You will be able to watch nearly all of them. That is the glorious reality of the year 2012. Sports networks are hungry to broadcast any and all sports, conferences are starting their own networks left and right, we have 1,000 channels on the cable box, and the Internet is ... well, it's the Internet. It's a wondrous time to be alive.
Still, we have not yet reached the basketball fan utopia we all seek. How do I know? Because Creighton-North Texas, one of Friday's sneaky-best season openers, is somehow not being televised.
And I don't mean nationally televised; I mean not televised at all. The Creighton athletics information packet, like all such documents, lists television broadcast information; next to "television" the field simply reads "none."
I have to say, this is somewhat surprising, given how good Creighton is going to be, how much forward Doug McDermott has burst onto the national scene, and how much the hype for North Texas forward Tony Mitchell has grown. Some think Mitchell will be an All-American this season; at the very least, he's a likely first-round NBA draft pick, if not a lottery guy. McDermott is the best scorer in the country, playing for a team that usually sells out its 17,260-seat home arena, that plans on a deep tournament run this March.
There is some good news, however. There is a workaround. Once more, the Internet comes through:
Creighton University Athletics and Jump TV will present a live, pay-per-view video webcast of approximately 12 games this season, including Friday. To sign up for the video webcast, fans can register by going directly to http://www.gocreighton.com. Cost for a monthly pass is $10.95 and a four-month pass is $34.95. Fans can also purchase a 24-hour pass ($4.99) or a 48-hour pass ($5.99) that begins the moment you sign up.
Were I Creighton and/or North Texas, I would probably do everything in my power to make that Internet stream free. If I'm Creighton, I want people to see as many Grant Gibbs-to-McDermott entry passes as possible. Sure, maybe you can't do it for the whole season; bandwidth costs for streaming web video are heavyweight and prohibitively expensive, and that $34.95 may not represent all that much profit per subscription. But for this game, I'm taking down the paywall, and getting the word out early: Don't miss the Bluejays.
Oh well. That's probably why I'm not in marketing, I suppose. In any case, who am I kidding? I'm totally paying $5 to watch that game. That's one less latte tomorrow. Totally worth it.