Local option: Why can't UVA & Tech fans watch games?

I love listening to football on the radio. When I go to a game, I always take my little Bell & Howell worldband with me so I can tune in; football games are often much easier to follow with some play-by-play. Then again, it’s not that easy to follow a game on the radio unless you're watching as well. As much as I enjoy it, radio commentary can be confusing and frustrating. But often fans are left with no other choice.

While UVA was handing William and Mary their bus fare on September 3, I wasn’t in front of the television. I was trying to hear the game over the hubbub of a Saturday night kitchen: the dishwasher, the dog, the baby, the phone. Only my husband was quiet, mulling over his fantasy picks. The atmosphere was not exactly conducive to following a football game on the radio. Frustrated by hearing cheers and boos that meant nothing, I asked my husband to take some notes on what was happening.

Here’s what I learned: Virginia wasn’t just outplaying William and Mary; they were crushing them. Michael Rocco and Kevin Parks are a formidable pair; kicker Robert Randolph is much improved; and coach London’s young team has a thing or two to learn about penalties (how to avoid committing them, for example). I learned the team that has been a big question mark is ready with some answers. Even over the din in my kitchen, I didn’t need my husband’s notes to tell me that the time has come for cautious optimism.

More importantly, I learned that local television stations should find a way to wrestle back the right to air local games. (Be honest: did you really want to watch Oregon v. LSU?)

On Sunday, I went to church and found the Tech fan in the next pew ignorant of the previous night’s goings-on at Scott Stadium. When he turned to my mother and said, “Did you see that game yesterday? Tech really crushed them! 66-13!” she answered, “So did Virginia: 40-3!” Polite man that he is, he answered, “Oh, did they? I didn’t hear,” and went right back to his bulletin.

A smack in the face, yes, but a surprise, no.

Is it too much to ask that Richmond and Roanoke television stations find a way to air local games? Granted, opening-day games aren’t in-conference match-ups. But really, Boise State and Georgia? Georgia’s ranked 19. We live in an age when we can pause live television; don’t tell me there’s not a way to make more games available.

But even if local stations do want to do better by viewers, what weapons do WWBT or WSLS have against the suits who govern college football’s television rights? Especially when those suits are boldly implementing their grand plan?

Two conferences, somewhat geographically subdivided, are peeking over the horizon. Super-conferences are the hope on which a true national championship (and billions of dollars) rest, and heaven help us, it’s coming. By denying local air time for what they consider negligible college programs, the Bowl Championship Series and its TV flunkies will reroute the fan bases of schools like Virginia, Vanderbilt, and Maryland to schools like Ohio State and USC. It’s a brilliant, albeit diabolical plan, against which no local station can prevail.

Frustrating or not, the radio is where many fans will be forced to turn more frequently. It’s only a matter of time until that’s our only option. I recommend the Bell & Howell.
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son and many dogs.


How do you know that UVa doesn't want local broadcasting to increase ticket sales to Scott Stadium?

ESPN3 streamed the game, right?

#3 vs #4 or UVa vs a I-AA school? Yeah, I wanted to watch Oregon vs LSU.

Yeah I wish we could get more regional games like we did in the 80s and 90s. Jefferson Pilot and Raycom did a great job of covering ACC games each week. The cool thing is that ESPN 3 does a lot of regional coverage as well nowadays. The UVA game was on ESPN 3 and many Tech games are on there also. I too though wanted to see Oregon vs. LSU and Boise St vs Georgia. This is the good and the bad of national coverage. Now we get to see the west coast match ups and get to see the best games each week. Yes there is a little regional sacrifice, but with ACC.com, CBSSports.com, ESPN3, etc, most smaller games can be streamed through the computer and you can still watch them.

The Tech game was on NBC 29.

usually they show it on ESPN3 or something. as for increasing ticket sales, the UVa Tech game ALWAYS sells out immediately, so that's not the issue. as for the UVA W&M game, there are way too many bigger games.

No one cares about UVA vs William and Mary, including UVA fans. That's why UVA gets terrible recruiting, the people in the stands sit there like deaf and dumb statues. What a terrible article, you live in Charlottesville and you don't even understand the underwhelming support of the UVA faithful. Oh well incompetence personified is the unofficial name of the town and this is just more of it.

I am a Cville mom of 2 college men. One is a recent UVA grad, the other is a senior at Vanderbilt. Ironically, I was able to watch the Vanderbilt football game on tv on Saturday night, but not the Virginia game. Lowly Vanderbilt (in the football universe) was playing Elon, and it was broadcast here on channel 8 (Comcast). Yes, we had the computer on the coffee table so we could see the ESPN3 "broadcast" of the Virginia game. Did anyone else notice that ESPN spelled our coach's name Lundon in their graphics? So no class.

It's college football, means nothing..get a grip.

Don't be rude to this nice lady. Don't even act like its cool for the "tech" game to be aired but, not the UVA game? Appalachian State is the same caliber team as William and Mary. If that were the case none of the "tech" games should be aired since they aren't playing anyone ranked this year.

not that hard to plug in the laptop, and run an HDMI cable to the ol' flatscreen.
i did notice how much better ESPN3's streaming has improved, so at least there is a good OPTION.

Personally, I would much rather listen to a football game on the radio than watch the terrible local coverage of it. It's not that hard to follow if the announcers are any good (Bill and Mike are awesome) and it's more entertaining. Usually they have better stats and know the players better because the same two guys call the game each week. But you know what's even better than that? Going to the game. If you're such a big UVA football game, GO TO THE HOME GAMES. Tickets are cheep and readily available. I'm a Hokie fan, and I'm terribly disappointed at the lack of support for UVA football. They finally have a team that shows some promise, a coach that cares and recruits well, a great stadium, and all the fans can do is complain about the lack of TV coverage in Charlottesville? The dishwasher will run while you're not there. Get a babysitter, turn on the answering machine, let the dog out, put on your orange and blue cardigan, go to Scott Stadium and make some noise and help your beloved Hoos rebuild thier team.

@Butt Dick-kiss: "No one cares about UVA vs William and Mary, including UVA fans. That's why UVA gets terrible recruiting, the people in the stands sit there like deaf and dumb statues. What a terrible article, you live in Charlottesville and you don't even understand the underwhelming support of the UVA faithful. Oh well incompetence personified is the unofficial name of the town and this is just more of it."

Read more carefully you inbred, half-wit. If you had read the entire article, you would know that the author lives in Charlotte County - not Charlottesville. Big difference.

Now I am not excusing Ms. Giles' poor writing or The Hook's decision to publish as their "Sports Doctor" someone who does not even live in town. But that is no excuse for some dumbassed Vippie-Sue homer to take pot-shots.

I long for the return of the Dick Bestwick days of UVa football. The games were truly fun back then to attend, and the alcohol flowed freely. Just few thousand of us having a good time, everyone knew everyone. I would rather go to an Episcopal Church service than attend an uptight UVa sporting event these days. As for UVa on tv, never going to happen as long as people can watch overated Notre Dame on NBC.

Hahahaha so no one in the town of Charlottesville will even write for UVA football. Amazing. Just dissolve the team right now, it's such a big joke anyway when UVA has such great teams such as the "lacrosse" team or the "field hockey" team or the "murk diving" team which all have about the same 20 fans worldwide.

I usually don't like to agree with a Hokie, but I second Cvile Hokie's emotion! You're alright! I know we haven't had the best team as of late, but Charlottesville needs to get out to the home games and support the Hoos. If you claim to be a UVA fan, there is no reason you shouldn't be at the game, unless you are working or have an important prior commitment. This article should be about how it's time UVa fans stop embarrassing themselves by being one of the worst fanbases in college football, and it pains me to say that as a diehard UVA fan. The parking lot in the West lot was probably 10-15% full two hours before game time on Sunday, when the team walked into the stadium. There were probably only about 40-50 people there to even cheer the team on as they walked into the stadium. Our program will continue to suffer if no one believes in it. C'mon Charlottesville, get to the games!!

Of course tt would be nice to get some more folks out to the games, but let's not get the cart before the horse here. We are just now seeing a little promise out of this program that has been dormant now for a number of years. Once the product on the field improves, the fans will come back.

And to those hokies with short memories who think that Lane Stadium has always been filled to capacity on Saturday afternoons, I would remind them to look back no further than the late 80's and mid-90's (even during the early years of Frank Beamer's tenure!) when football games in Blacksburg were not much of a draw whatsoever. I can remember attending a VT game in the late 80's in which the level of play on the field was so bad and the fan support so lackadaisical that the SCANT crowd in attendance took more pleasure in hurling snowballs (remnants of a light dusting from a few days prior) at the opposing sideline than in the game itself!

VT fans would do well not to take the current level of support enjoyed by the VPI football program for granted or be so foolish as to presume that it will always be so. It would take only a few bad years on the gridiron to return the gobblers to their previous station of football irrelevance and fan apathy.

I've been a UVA football fan for a little over 20 years but I will agree that the following link pretty much sums up the fan base.

When was this magical time games between FBS and FCS teams were regularly widely televised? There is significantly more football available for viewing now than even 3 years ago, this article is absolute garbage and makes zero sense.