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Frequently Asked Questions

Television:

Why can’t Sun Sports air their own live broadcast of all Gator Football games?
CBS and ESPN pay millions of dollars each year in rights fees. In order to protect their investment, it is written in the contract that the only other company that can air games live (in the conventional manner) is the syndicator designated by the conference in which that team belongs. In the SEC, that syndicator is ESPN Regional Television, producing games as the SEC Network. In 2009, games not broadcast on CBS, ESPN, or the SEC Network will air live on several FOX Regional Sports Networks, including Sun Sports. In the event that none of the SEC rights-holders select a UF game for live broadcast, Florida can air a game live on a pay-per-view basis in the home states of the participating schools. More information about the SEC television contract can be found here.

What is"Breakfast With the Gators" on Sun Sports?
Sun Sports has designated a weekly Sunday morning time slot as "Breakfast with the Gators." Each Sunday, at 9:00 AM (8:30 AM during football season), Sun Sports will air previously produced Gator programming. In the fall, for instance, the replay of the previous day’s football game will air. When the football team is idle or during the winter or spring seasons, "Breakfast with the Gators" features replays of UF's other teams' recent contests.

Why don't we know before the season starts when TV kickoff times are?
Once a game is selected for television, the start time is also given. However, because the networks do not have to make their selection of some games they are going to televise until 12 days prior to the contest (and in certain instances just six days prior), there is no way to predict all of the kickoff times before the season begins.

Why can't Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida show all the men's basketball games live?
Because of contract obligations with CBS, ESPN, and ESPN Regional Television, no SEC school can produce its own live telecast after January 1st of a given season. This policy is put in place to ensure exclusivity of these rights-holders' product and to protect its advertising efforts. In the event that a game after January 1st is not selected for a live broadcast by one of the league’s broadcast partners, Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida may have the option to televise the game on a tape-delayed basis.

Why can't Sun Sports’ men's basketball and football telecasts be shown via satellite outside certain states, or in some cases, outside Florida even on tape delay?
Rights granted to ESPN by the SEC prohibit member schools from distributing games that are not produced and distributed under that ESPN agreement outside SEC states.

SEC games that Sun Sports airs from regional syndicator ESPN Regional Television are permitted to air on Sun Sports in Florida only, as they are available on other outlets in other SEC states.

For more information on the SEC TV contract and broadcast packages, click here, here, or here.

Radio:

At night, why might I have difficulty hearing a Gator Radio Network broadcast but be able to pick up a Kentucky or LSU game? It is very possible you may live in a part of the state that, at night, struggles to hear that evening's Florida game but picks up an LSU or Kentucky game through a New Orleans or Louisville station, for instance. Basically, what you are hearing out of New Orleans and Louisville are 50,000-watt clear-channel stations. A clear-channel station is one that, at night, does not have to decrease its power. Any other station that has the same frequency (example: AM-870) must cut its power at sunset. The clear-channel station's signal travels much further distances without interference from other stations on the same frequency.

The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) stopped the practice of awarding stations clear-channel licenses many years ago and the state of Florida did not have a station with that capability. That is why in some Florida markets you can't hear a Saturday night game on the same station you may listen to on a Saturday afternoon. It is also why we have a large network and situations where there might be two or three stations that can be heard in the same area during the day but only one heard at night.

If I can't hear the games in my area, what can I do?
Contact the local station and let them know that you would be interested in listening to Gator football and basketball on their station. Have other Gator fans do the same, especially if it can be done through the Gator Club in your area. It is always helpful to us if you write to the station and send a copy to the University Athletic Association so the Gator Radio Network department has documentation to present a case to the station. A reminder, all games can be heard via the internet on GatorZone.com.

Why, in some areas, can you hear Gator football but not the Gator Hotline show or UF basketball broadcasts?
The Gator Network always seeks stations that will commit to carrying all football and basketball broadcasts as well as the Gator Hotline shows. There are situations, though, where there is only one station in a market that is interested in carrying some of but not the entire package. After every effort is made to have that station commit to both football and basketball, the network then works out the best possible scenario.
The gap between stations carrying partial programming versus all Gator programming has narrowed so dramatically that the networks are nearly the same size.

Why wouldn't all stations want to carry the Gator Network?
Today's radio stations have so many formats (music, sports, news/talk, combinations) from which to choose to program its broadcast day that it hesitates to break from its format to accommodate specialized sports programming. This is especially true when it comes to FM stations. Stations in Florida also have a wide selection of collegiate and professional teams from which to select. Many factors are considered when a station is deciding on programming.

Do stations pay UF a broadcast rights fee?
Currently, the only station paying a rights fee is the flagship station in Jacksonville, WFXJ (AM-930). The majority of schools in the SEC charge their stations a per-game/season rights fee depending on market size. What also influences the rights fee process is the other sports entertainment competition (college and pro) for broadcast outlets. The Gator Network works on a barter basis with stations. Stations are allowed just under 50% of the commercial time in the broadcast for their sponsors while the Network has its time for state and national sponsors. These sponsors provide significant revenue for the network and, in turn, the University Athletic Association.

Why aren't there more FM stations on the Gator Network?
Most FM stations are music-intensive, but the last two decades have seen a gradual and welcomed shift to sports programming. The Network always contacts FM stations along with AM stations in an effort to identify the best signal and program clearance.

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