Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Open letter to the West Coast Conference

Just wanted to drop a note regarding the WCC basketball scheduling this season.

I've noticed that quite a few of the big games that hold interest for college basketball fans both regionally and nationally are scheduled on Thursday nights (St. Mary's/San Diego 1/22, SMC/Gonzaga 1/29, GU/SMC 2/12, and USD/SMC 2/19).

I'm sure part of the scheduling of these games has to do with requests from ESPN, but given that your main regional competition in college basketball is the Pac-10, and given that the Pac-10 has historically had Thursday/Saturday games, I'm thinking it is fairly unwise to try to directly compete with the big boys.

While someone like me will go out of his way to be able to take a look at those four games I mentioned (among others), the vast majority of west coast basketball fans are going to be tuned in to watch things like the SoCal schools against the Washington schools on 1/22, the Arizona schools against the Washington schools on 1/29, SoCals vs. Zona on 2/12 and again the SoCals vs the Washingtons on 2/19.

You are really limiting your potential audience by trying to go head-to-head against the Pac-10 schools on their traditional game nights. Much better for you to carve out your own identity. In years past, you had the 9pm PST game on Big Monday, and while I can understand how that may limit your exposure outside of the west, at least you had your own stage. Perhaps even Friday night games (a relatively untapped night in college basketball scheduling) would be preferable than trying to have San Diego compete for viewers against UCLA and St. Mary's to compete for viewers against Stanford.

Either way, best of luck to your teams and your conference, but you've really got to make it easier for your fans to be able to watch your games.

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