Specifically, the trio asked auditors to examine the division's revenues and expenditures as well as a request to "specifically enumerate the amount of revenue the division has or will receive from any agreements involving the broadcast of sporting events on the Big Ten Network."
So, the lawmakers want to know exactly how much money the UW is receiving from the BTN for the broadcast rights to the sporting events. I assume this means football and men's basketball, as those are the only two bigtime revenue sports. UW hockey has a giant following as well, but their hockey team competes in the WCHA, not the Big Ten. I don't see any issue with the lawmakers having access to those numbers. The University is state run, and owned by the state, if I am not mistaken.
The three lawmakers said that their request stemmed from constituents' complaints over not being able to watch the Nov. 3 UW-Ohio State football game.
Uh-oh. People are calling the politicians about missing the football game. Interesting. The BTN pleaded for people to call the cable networks, not politicians.
Travis said he approached the Educational Communications Board before the Ohio State game to see if Wisconsin Public Television could broadcast the game, but was told that the contract prohibited it.
Before the BTN came into existence, Wisconsin Public Television would televise the UW football games on tape delay, usually around 9 or 10 pm.
"How did Wisconsin get in the position that its public university can't televise its own games on public television?" Travis asked during an interview Thursday. "Everybody is lateraling the ball here" by shifting the blame for the agreement, he said. "Nobody is taking responsibility for it."
Well, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the schools and the Big Ten conference. The fans, as usual, are the big losers. I would dearly love for the politicians to get access to those numbers - I don't see what the problem would be as it is a public institution, owned as much by me as the next Wisconsinite. This story is far from over and is getting more interesting by the minute.
Added: I have started a new category, Big Ten Netowork as I have written about it quite extensively, you can see the related articles now on the sidebar.