Ursinus College Student Government Association held an open forum on Feb. 6 to discuss the possible elimination of ESPN from the Ursinus cable television lineup to do increasing costs.
Associate Dean of Students Todd McKinney explained that 48 percent of the television budget goes to the sports network, which has increased rates by 20 percent in the past two years and plans to increase them again this year, according to meeting minutes.
McKinney said that the tech service does not see how the budget can be balanced while keeping ESPN, which provides five sports-related channels to campus – ESPN, ESPN News, ESPN2, ESPN U and ESPN Classic, according to the Ursinus Cable TV Lineup. ESPN will not allow the school to purchase only part of the package, officials say.
McKinney said the school might be able to arrange ESPN in common areas throughout the college, though that is not guaranteed.
Minutes from the meeting indicate support from students on dropping ESPN, based on the costs, and that holding sports showing in public areas could boost the campus community.
While there was a question from some students regarding how vital an expense ESPN was, others felt that having the channel is still “hugely important to quality of life.”
Several alternatives to dropping ESPN were discussed at the meeting, including eliminating some channels in favor of ESPN, switching providers, and adding other sports channels to replace ESPN.
Students suggested holding a poll on who watches ESPN and what should be done about the situation.
According to an Ursinus spokesperson, the college is working with the USGA to try to find some sort of solution, and this is still in the discussion stage.
Students have taken to Twitter to object to the potential loss of the sports network with the hashtag #saveespn.
"Idea: scrap all bullshit artwork on campus to pay for #espn #saveespn," one user said.
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