The Big East may not have a network of its own, but today Pitt announced the launching of a new venture with Comcast to provide a Pitt network for those in Western Pennsylvania.â†µ
Depending on where you live locally, the channel is either 188 or 210.â†µ
Pitt isn't the first school to do this, or even the first Big East school. Connecticut and Syracuse have both set up similar arrangements in the hopes of getting more exposure in their respective areas.â†µ
Look, this certainly isn't a lucrative proposition like a Big East Network would be. I've been beating the drum since May that the Big East needs to get a network of its own in order to remain competitive and I certainly still hold that position. But while this deal isn't lining the pockets of Pitt like a conference network would, it is great news for its fans who will be able to see games not televised.â†µ
On the flipside, if football games are televised, you wonder how that might affect attendance for less meaningful games that wouldn't be shown otherwise. Basketball games will continue to be a sellout, but will fans stay home on a rainy fall day when they can watch a game against, say, Florida International, if it's not picked up anywhere else?â†µ
Some fans may remember that Pitt has at times utilized channels 188/210 to show a very limited number of games in the past. While not a 24/7 Pitt channel, there will be a significant amount of programming. The network will reportedly carry approximately 500 hours of coverage each year including live games, pre- and post-game shows, press conferences and more.