From The Desk Of Terry Holland
Nov. 3, 2006
First and foremost, few athletic programs in the country have a partnership like the one ECU enjoys with WITN-TV. WITN is a GREAT partner and we all need to remember that no one has ever succeeded long term by beating up their good partners.
WITN can and does pre-empt NBC programming every time they televise a game for us but there are limits to what they can do just as there are limits to what we can do because of our contracts with C-USA, CSTV, etc ...
After ESPN and CSTV make their picks, ECU and WITN have to try to make sense out of what is left and these decisions cannot be made until late in the summer. Even then, the games have to cleared one by one with CSTV as they have the option to pick up C-USA games later in the season.
We had hoped to clear the non-conference away game with NC State but the ACC television partners were never able to clear that one for us.
In the end, WE - the athletic department at ECU - decided that we wanted to make this UCF game available to our fans. By then, WITN was handcuffed by our earlier decisions on which games we had decided to televise that had already been cleared.
After going through all the likely options again, we finally asked WITN to provide the UCF game on tape delay. If they had not been such great partners, they would have told us to take a hike as a tape delay versus holding out for another live contest is a "no-brainer" for anyone running a television station.
However, after evaluating everything, our athletic department decided this game could be pivotal in the conference race and we would take our chances that the tape delay would be beneficial to our fans. WITN agreed to go along because WE felt it could be an important game that our fans would want to see on tape delay.
A "good" partner would have told us that they could not sell tape delay but our GREAT partner, said, "if you are sure that is what is best for you, then we will go along."
However, the real lesson that we all need to take from what has occurred is that if we can convert the negative energy we have wasted on being mad at WITN (or allowing our UNC inferiority complex to show) into positive energy to support our team and coaching staff, the sky is the limit for ECU Athletics.
Pirates DO CARE! Sometimes Pirates get off track but so do our competitors. If we can keep that passion on track better than our competition does, then we will get to where we deserve to be. REMEMBER - THIS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT! In a marathon you cannot waste energy - you have to use it constructively.