This email came to me this evening:
FYI, USAU has requested that a portion of the article be taken down. You are welcome to reword it but you'll have to check with Andy Lee to see what they want out there -
This was removed:
And once again the semifinals and finals will be broadcast (not live, of course) on a television network, CBS College Sports. Since the niche cable outfit College Sports Television (CSTV) and the UPA worked out a deal in 2003, broadcasting the Championships has been an awkward affair.
There really aren't a lot of spectators out there for the game despite all of ultimate's best attempts. The UPA kept the details of the CSTV deal under wraps but suffice to say the UPA paid for that coverage, which sort of undermines the common perception of how the business model works for sports and broadcasting.
But ultimate is surely not the only niche sport to pay for its own broadcasting and if you think the sport is popular enough to sustain media interest, think again.
"The last contract we had with CBS College Sports expired this fall. So we took the opportunity to test the market. We pitched to Versus, Fuse, NBC—there was no interest. CBS was the only show in town," spoke USA Ultimate's Marketing Director Andy Lee in a recent conversation.
"With CBS it's a barter deal. We cover production costs and in return we get inventory which is advertising time," explained Lee. "CBS wont give out ratings of their shows but it was a good sign that the deal got significantly better. This year was one-quarter the cost and three times as much coverage."