Warner links sporting deal

By Jesse Rogers

Savard scores! That phrase and many others like it can be heard now that SportsChannel Chicago has come to Dekalb and Sycamore.

The Chicago-based branch of SportsChannel America officially announced its new deal with Warner Cable to provide the NIU area with the sports station.

The announcement came at a press luncheon Monday at the Days Inn of Dekalb. Starting on Wednesday of this week, SportsChannel can be seen for free on channel 15 in all homes having an existing cable package. Beginning on November 1, 1989 the fee for SportsChannel will be $1.95 per month.

This deal has no affect on the existing package SportsChannel Chicago has with NIU residence halls.

SportsChannel provides coverage of several major Chicago sports teams as well as National Hockey League coverage and intercollegiate competition.

Included in the collegiate package is NIU athletics. Huskie football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, field hockey, and softball are all sports that SportsChannel has televised or plans to televise in the future.

Present at the luncheon were NIU head football coach Jerry Pettibone, basketball coach Jim Molinari, and soccer coach Willy Roy. All three were very pleased about the new deal and its ramifications for their respective sports.

“I think its going to help our school,” Roy said. “Whether its basketball, football or the other sports, as far as recruiting is concerned, and it really will show up our university in whatever we might telecast from Northern.”

Pettibone hopes the deal will not have an affect on game attendance.

“It probably will have an influence on people coming to the game.” Pettibone stated. “I hope that because of the interest that has been developed in our team that it will not hurt, especially the student body. It’s really important to us and our program to have the students in the stands.”

The deal with Warner Cable has been long coming for the DeKalb area. SportsChannel has been trying to get into this area since 1984. However, because of regional conflicts the deal could not be completed. It wasn’t until similar situations in Ohio were resolved that set a precedent for SportsChannel officials to use in obtaining the deal with Warner.

Because NIU residence halls are not fitted with cable through Warner, the halls were able to strike a deal with SportsChannel several years ago and will continue to get the station.

So not only will viewers be able to see great moments in Chicago and national sports like Wayne Gretzky breaking the all-time scoring record for professional hockey this past Sunday, but NIU action as well.