If you're a University of Utah fan, have we got good news for you.
More Ute games than ever before will be televised on KUTV-Ch. 2 starting this fall.The TV station (and sister radio station KALL-AM 910) just signed a new, two-year contract with the U. And the cornerstone of the pact is a commitment to expand Ch. 2's coverage of both Ute football and basketball games.
Neither schedule has been set, but KUTV plans to broadcast live every Utah grid contest it possibly can. The exceptions will include.
1. Any games that might be picked up under ABC and ESPN's contract with the College Football Association. (None have at this point).
2. Games with starting times that violate ABC's exclusive "window" on Saturday afternoons.
3. Games like Utah at BYU when the rights belong to another station (in this case KSL).
And KUTV plans to televise some of those games (not including those under exceptions No. 1 and No. 3) on a tape-delay basis.
Incomplete plans also call for additional coverage of Ute basketball games, as well as increased airings of events like women's gymnastics.
Not that anyone is competing or anything, but this means Utah will move much closer to parity with BYU when it comes to local television coverage.
COUGS ON TV: Speaking of BYU, as usual you can expect to see most of the Cougars' football games on TV this fall - but you'll have to have cable to see a couple of them.
The Cougars' Oct. 31 contest at Colorado State has been moved to a Thursday (7 p.m. locally) to accomodate ESPN. And BYU's Saturday, Nov. 16 game at San Diego State (also 7 p.m.) will also be on ESPN.
BYU's Aug. 29 date with Florida State in the Disneyland Pigskin Preview is being syndicated nationally, and Ch. 5 bought the local rights.
Although a television schedule has not been finalized, KSL will also televise as many of BYU's other games as possible. (Some will not be, for the same reasons cited in the above Utah football item.)
And, for the first time, KSL will tape-delay at least a couple of games it cannot carry live.
The Cougars' Sept. 21 game at Penn State has been picked up by ABC and moved to prime time in the East (6 p.m. locally). ABC is calling it a "split national" (with Nebraska vs. Washington) but exactly how much of the nation will see the team from Provo depends on how well the Cougs do in their first two games.
If, by some chance, BYU beats Florida State and UCLA, expect a majority of the nation to see the Cougars vs. the Nittany Lions. If BYU keeps it close against FSU and beats UCLA, it will be probably somewhere around half the country that will see the Cougars on Sept. 21.
But if the Cougs get blown out by FSU and lose to UCLA, we're talking Utah and Pennsylvania only. And maybe not all of Pennsylvania.
RUMOR IS . . . : Jan Hooks, who's been a member of the "Saturday Night Live" cast since 1986, has quit the show. That's a fact.
What has not been confirmed is that Hooks left to join the cast of "Designing Women" - as a replacement for Delta Burke. (Burke's battles with her producers are becoming the stuff of Hollywood legend.)
Nobody's commenting on this rumor . . . er, report.
And the beat goes on . . .