Lack of foresight costs NIU $2,300

By Stephan L. Lopes

NIU’s lack of foresight in providing equipment and space for televising athletic events cost the university $2,300.

SportsChannel Chicago charged NIU $2,300 above the basic costs of renting transmission equipment for televising the Oct. 7 and Oct. 21 football games.

Because NIU did not provide a transmission dish for the games, SportsChannel Chicago contracted the dish from WNDU-TV, South Bend, Ind., and charged NIU $3,800 and $3,500 respectively for the two games.

Greg Geczi, Vice President of Operations for WNDU-TV, said his station charges $2,500 a day for the KU uplink service.

The KU uplink truck operator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, varified his station was contracted and paid by SportsChannel Chicago. A KU uplink truck is a vehicle which provides the microwave transmission equipment needed to televise events.

However, SportsChannel Chicago General Manager Jim Corno said SportsChannel Chicago had “nothing to do with” procurring the transmission equipment, and because it was done through a third party he “legally” could not comment.

NIU can no longer provide space atop the Holmes Student Center because of the building’s new design, said University Legal Counsel George Shur. Referring to a mutually conducted study between NIU and former provider of the temporary dish, Centel Videopath, Shur said there are no viable alternative sights.

However, the Northern Star has learned alternative sites proposed by NIU were considered acceptable by Centel Videopath, including a site located near Seventh and Taylor Streets in DeKalb.

However, NIU failed to make long-term plans in procurring an alternative site.

In addition, the Star has obtained a memo dated May 3, 1988 by NIU’s Sports Information Director Mike Korcek, regarding general concerns about locating an alternative site for the dish so live broadcasts of games could still be done.

Korcek could not confirm or deny writing the memo.

SportsChannel Chicago agreed to provide the necessary transmission equipment since NIU would not. In the agreement, SportsChannel Chicago would provide the equipment and subtract the costs from an undisclosed fee they agreed to pay NIU for the game’s transmission rights.

Jon Tammen, director of operations for Centel Videopath, confirmed there are alternative dish sights which were proposed by NIU.

In the past, Centel Videopath would temporarily affix transmission equipment to the roof of the Holmes Student Center for live broadcasts. Tammen said the past procedure was much cheaper than the current one used by SportsChannel Chicago.

John Cantrell of Centel Videopath refused to comment on the price the company charged NIU for the temporary dish service, and directed further calls to the NIU Athletic Dept.

The current method of using the KU uplink truck to televise games costs more because the operational crew must be paid hourly wages, Tammen said. “There are additional costs in doing it that way—it’s expensive,” he said.

Companies which provide this type of service typically charge more because of the convenience of not having to set up transmisson equipment because it is on the truck, Tammen said.