Despite late efforts, UNLV’s game with UNR won’t be televised


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNR forwards Luke Babbitt, left, and Adam Carp battle with UNLV forward Brice Massamba and guard Anthony Marshall as they chase down a loose ball during the first half of their game Nov. 18, 2009, at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won 88-75.

Several fans of the UNLV basketball program have been vocal in their displeasure that Saturday's rivalry game at UNR won't be televised.

That nearly changed earlier this week.

UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood tried to coordinate having a feed of the game picked up by local television in Las Vegas, but his efforts were halted by a scheduling jam at Reno's Lawlor Events Center.

Livengood and UNR athletic director Cary Groth teamed up on the project, eventually gaining network approval to broadcast the game on television in Las Vegas and Reno.

But UNR is holding its December graduation at the Lawlor Events Center earlier Saturday — it is scheduled to end just three hours before tip-off — not allowing time for a broadcast crew to set up.

"How can a game like this not be scheduled to be televised?" said Livengood, who first began coordinating six weeks ago. "That's not acceptable for our fans nor should it be."

In recent years, football and basketball games at Reno have not been broadcast back to Las Vegas because of broadcasting rights issues between the networks owning the respective rights to the leagues. ESPN holds the rights to all games in UNR's Western Athletic Conference, but selected to not televise Saturday's basketball contest.

With UNR set to join the Mountain West Conference in 2012, the issue will go away, and all basketball and football games will be televised. The league has its own network, The Mtn.

"I don't know of any issues going forward," Livengood said.

Livengood, who spent 16 years as the athletic director at the University of Arizona before taking the UNLV job about a year ago, spent most of Thursday night glued to the television watching Arizona's rivalry football game against Arizona State. He said UNLV's rivalry with UNR is equally intense.

"It's every bit as big of a rivalry," Livengood said. "The passion of the fans for the UNLV-UNR (football) game was something else."

Following the UNR game, UNLV plays Boise State on Wednesday at the Orleans Arena. On Dec. 11, the Rebels play at Louisville, which will be shown on ESPNU.

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  1. LV is a MAJOR market for sports... just ask Oscar Mayor. Meanwhile back to reality... no TeeVee 4U UNLV.

  2. I could care less about UNR. I just want a way to see every Rebel game. I am sure ESPN could've set up in less than 3 hours if they really wanted to.

  3. Well, at least they did as much as they could to get it going. Unfortunate we can't watch it, but from now on it should always be televised.

  4. With all of the press this has received I can't believe that is has not been brought up that you can watch the game live on for a small fee.

  5. RebelDad: The feed available is the in-house video feed from the arena and not a television broadcast quality production. It will have the UNR radio guys for audio" This is very common these days. Of course it's a great way for fans to get to see the action, but it is not an option as far as putting on TV.

  6. My guess is that the Reno Tech athletic department lacks the technical know how to put on televised events.

  7. At least we can still listen to it on the radio.

  8. Check the day of the game. That site has almost every game on if it is televised anywhere.

    The sad thing is college sports is all about the $$$. The biggest issue is the WAC and the MWC are small conferences that do not have a nation wide following. Not many people back east care about the UNR vs UNLV basketball. Look at TCU and Boise State football, how many times did you see them playing on nation television.

    ESPN really only cares about the ACC, Big East and Big 12 in basketball.

    Although I am a K-State fan, the sad thing is I can watch them and Kansas more here in Las Vegas than UNLV.

  9. Kudos to Livengood for fighting the good fight. He is Bigtime & knows everybody worth knowing. I knew if anybody could get something done he could. The day after he was hired I emailed him about this very topic and that the status quo was unacceptable. He almost pulled it off. Just goes to show how 2nd rate Robinson, Hamrick, & Koloskie were as ADs.

  10. This is another reason why UNLV can't land 5 star recruits. Who wants to come to a school where you get lost in the shuffle on the Mountain West network, or for that matter can't even have your rivalry game televised. Pathetic!

  11. Will the Louisville game be on ESPN3?

  12. Go to almost every game is there.. I watched to last UNLV game there. Thank you KSTATE-GRAD for posting that last time and this time..

  13. Mohave: The Louisville game will be on ESPNU :)

  14. Brewer - I don't have cable, all I gots is the ESPN3's. Grr

  15. Love It Sucks that they won't have the game televised tonight though. You have to pay $9.95 to watch it on the Wolf Pack website

    Guess listening to Sandler and Smith is the only way to catch the game tonight.

  16. Forgot to mention that if you have an Android based phone(with Flash 10.1) you can watch on your phone too. I catch all the basketball,football and PPV Boxing/UFC fights on there when I'm stuck at work.

  17. The Louisville game will be on ESPN 3 as well. Its just the internet feed so its good, just not HD quality