Campus could get more use out of local sports station
November 3, 2006
Shortly after I got to school this year I hooked up my television and started flipping through the channels to find out what new channels the University had added. The first one I came across was MTVU. It had a small amount of aural and aesthetic appeal, but I knew shortly after turning it on that it wouldn’t be something that myself or many other students at UWRF would watch. The next new channel I came across was ABC Family.
This channel at least had some programming that I was familiar with and would probably watch from time to time. After my surfing through cam- pus channels was done, something just felt off. I went back through them again, and that’s when I realized that Fox Sports Net was gone.
Last school year there were two online surveys administered to determine what channels the University should keep and what channels should be eliminated. FSN was apparently one of the channels that got the axe. This baffled me because nearly half of the students who attend UWRF are from Minnesota. Granted, not all of them follow Minnesota sports, but there are a great number of them who do. FSN is the home station to such Minnesota sports teams as the Twins, Timberwolves and Wild. I am an avid Timberwolves fan, and it disheartened me when I found out that I would not be able to see any of the games from campus this year unless they were nationally televised. This is usually only the case for about three games per year, and that makes up a very minute portion of the Wolves’ season.
Many of the male Minnesota sports aficionados on campus feel that FSN got cut because of the large portion of women on campus.
“I guess all the girls on campus would rather watch ‘7th Heaven’ than FSN,” said Dan Rinker, a UWRF junior.
Rinker is an ardent Twins fan, and he went on to say that it is torture not having FSN on campus this semester because he wasn’t able to watch the Twins games. The only way he could follow the Twins was to listen to a static-ridden radio broadcast from his room or watch blurry Internet broad- casts. Rinker’s sentiment has been expressed by many of the male sports lovers on campus. This is not a completely male-dominated issue though. There is a nearly 60/40 ratio of females to males on campus, which may have led to the cut of FSN, but there are a number of women on cam- pus who thoroughly enjoy sports.
“Parker Hall is one of the avid halls that want it (FSN) back,” said Tricia Fredricksen, the current chair of the Residential Living Committee.
Undoubtedly, some of the women on campus just want FSN back so they can ogle Joe Mauer during Twins season, but a number of them like to kick back and watch some good sports as much as the guys do.
“I wasn’t happy when they cut FSN,” said senior Ashley Woodward. “When there’s nothing on all of the other channels to watch, there is always something on FSN.”
For those on campus who just can’t live without FSN, there is a decent chance that it could be coming back. Fredricksen said the Residential Living Committee voted to bring FSN back. This doesn’t necessarily mean FSN is coming back, but it means that there is now a recommendation to bring it back. The issue still has to go through the University to be approved. If that happens, Minnesota sports aficionados all across campus could soon be enjoying Minnesota sports once again.
Derrick Knutson is a student at UW-River Falls.