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Local TV Not An Option For UNLV Athletics


Courtesy: UNLV Athletic Department

UNLV defeated Nevada in Reno 23-17 on Saturday. The Rebel win is the team's second in the last three years against its main rival from Reno.

It’s not a rivalry on the level of USC versus UCLA or Alabama versus  Auburn.

But, for some Nevadans – the annual UNLV–UNR football game is all that matters. The winner of the game gets to keep the Fremont Cannon trophy for the next year.

On Saturday, UNLV captured the cannon beating Nevada 23-17 in Reno.

The only problem was if you didn’t go to Reno, your only option was to watch the game on your computer.

So, why can’t we watch a UNLV football game on local TV? And, will it be the same for Runnin Rebel basketball.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski explained to KNPR's State of Nevada what happened.

"The way it kind of works is, each game in the conference is essentially put out to bid and there is a pecking order among the TV partners for these games... CBS Sports, ESPN, Root Network pick which games they want," he explained.

However, those networks didn't pick the UNLV-UNR game so an online-only company called Campus Insiders did and had exclusive rights to the game, Kantowski said.

According to Campus Insiders, the game received 33,000 unique hits which was a record for the company.  

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Kantowski said you can thank Boise State and the deal the Mountain West made to keep the Broncos in the Mountain West Conference.

"It really points to the divide that's getting wider between the major conferences and the smaller ones like the Mountain West," he said. "You basically take what you can get."

Kantowski wrote the television deal is so convoluted that UNLV puts out a news release before every game advising Rebel fans on how they can watch it.


Ron Kantowski, sports columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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