Random updates

The final game between North Dakota and Minnesota as WCHA league rivals will highlight FSN North’s Hockey Day in Minnesota coverage on Jan. 19.

The game will be played at Mariucci Arena and will likely start at about 5 p.m.

FSN North will broadcast high school games prior to the UND-Minnesota game. A Minnesota Wild vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game will follow at 8 p.m.

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UND signed a TV contract with Midcontinent to produce its games for the future (except for CBS Sports games).

Details of the Midco deal are here.

What does it mean for hockey?

1. A penalty clock is probably on the way…. finally.
2. Midco will broadcast NCHC games that are NOT only CBS Sports, however they won’t be allowed to be picked up by Fox College Sports. Viewers out of town will probably have to turn to the webcast.
3. On-air talent is up in the air. Pat Sweeney as called games forever, but it is unclear whether he will be able to do so with the new deal.

Also of note, The Ralph has replaced all of its TVs in the concourse with new flatscreens.

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I got in touch with Matt Greene’s parents yesterday. He has not yet been told what day he will have the Cup. He’s definitely bringing it to his hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich. His dad said Matt previously told him he also wants to bring it to Grand Forks, but he doesn’t know if he will have time to do it.

In chatting with Mr. Greene, he had several interesting stories. First, he was unable to watch the Stanley Cup Finals because he was in a small town in West Africa at the time. Even getting scores of games was difficult for he and his wife.

He also said he’s excited about the formation of the NCHC, because he will be able to go up the road an hour to Kalamazoo to watch UND play against Western Michigan.

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Lastly, on a sad note, longtime area hockey coach Bruce Olson has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Olson coached boys hockey at both Roseau and Warroad, leading Roseau to the state championship in 1999. He also was the head coach of the Bemidji State women’s team.

63 thoughts on “Random updates

  1. Brad,

    Does the CBS Sports national broadcast exclusiveness pertain when one NCHC team is playing, or does it have to be a NCHC Conference game? For instance, if UND was hosting Maine and not televised by CBS, could the Midcontinent broadcast be distributed nationally?

  2. What was the NCHC thinking signing a television contract that only allows 5 UND games to be nationally broadcasted a year? Seems to me they could have made more money broadcasting additional UND games nationally.

  3. Is this a double negative?
    Midco will broadcast NCHC games that are NOT only CBS Sports, however they won’t be allowed to be picked up by Fox College Sports.
    Does this mean that Midco will not broadcast games on FCS at all?

  4. So please correct me if I am wrong… the FSN viewers such as myself who live in the Southwest will be out of luck when it comes to watching the majority of the Sioux games with this new deal. For the record, watching games via the internet is poor, with too many computer difficulties. Not to mention, there is many times an added cost associated with watch the games online. It is bad enough cable and dish companies charge an arm and a leg for tv programs. I could be wrong, but isn’t the point of a tv contract to provide a wider range of broadcasts to potential viewers not a small range of broadcasts for potential viewers? National coverage equals more exposure, more exposure equals more potential interest in Sioux Athletics and the University. Where is the justified reasoning behind this new tv deal? By the sound of this very few Sioux games will be broadcast on CBS Sports as opposed to all the home games that are currently broadcast on FSN. For the last couple years I have faithfully watched all the Home hockey games on FSN and others now I will be unable to. This very is disappointing. Like I stated before, please correct me if I am wrong.

    • You’re right, I’m in the same boat as you. People outside of the Midco viewing area are going to be screwed.

      • So being from Minneapolis, I cannot even watch the games every weekend (well most) anymore on FCSA, FCSC, FCSP, or basically any other channel that used to show Sioux games all the time? This is complete garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I am a bit confused with the verbiage as well. MIDCO is going to have the UND games (minus CBS games) and they will be on FSN-North around the country via cable and satellite, right or wrong? MIDCO is only going to do UND locally (again minus CBS games) and they will only be shown in the ND/MN/Man area, right or wrong? Are the majority of us fans around the country going to have to do computer dial in to the UND website to see UND hockey, right or wrong? What about the women’s hockey as it is still WCHA and nothing has been said about them?
    The UND AD was in the paper as to what a good deal this MIDCO contract was for UND, it appears that it is only a good deal if you live in ND/MN/Man within a close in UND radius. So much for national exposure!
    I am a UND History major so this contract stuff may be way over my head, hopefully you will clarify :-)

    • It’s not FSN-N…that’s the rodent’s channel. Its FCS (Fox College Sports, or Fox Channel for Soccer)…and yes, you need to reside in the Midco geographical footprint to receive the broadcasts. We need FCS to broadcast the games….both home and away.

  6. Great news…if you happen to live within a few hour drive of Grand Forks, or your favorite sport didn’t sign a contract with CBS Sports.

  7. I do not want the same BS to happen to me again like the midwest regionals. DirecTV showed that the game against Western Michigan would be on according to the guide, until the game started and it was blacked out. Apparently, it was only available to certain viewers within ND/SD/MN.

  8. It seems like I will be able to reclaim my Friday and Saturday nights, which previously were reserved for UND hockey games. In the olden days, before they started appearing on FCS, I subscribed to the Internet broadcasts and followed it as best I could. I won’t do that again anymore than I’d go back to watching black&white TV. This just seems like a bad business decision by someone at the U. Guess I ought to live closer to Nodak.

  9. Im sure it will all boil down to money. There are plenty of Sioux fans that want to watch the games around the country. Midco would be foolish not to sell these games to other networks. I hope something with fox college sports works out. I live in Colorado and would be devastated to not be able to at a minimum get Fighting Sioux home games. Lets hope something goes through.

  10. Midco will show UND hockey games in the region that it covers, mainly North Dakota. It is my understanding that this does nothing for those in Colorado, Arizona, Florida, etc. You’re stuck with the 2-4 games that CBS Sports picks up each year plus the potential of UND’s 4 non-NCHC home games, which may only have the potential to be broadcast on FCS.

  11. Are the twin cities also left out of this deal? I used to watch UND hockey every weekend. Do I need to find a new team to support or will their be a way for me to watch the games?

  12. Somewhere I read that people don’t mind changes as much as they mind being changed. Well, I feel like I am being changed! If this is as it reads…it sounds like another episode of Lets Kill the Greatest Hockey Conference That ever existed! Brought to us by the brain trust that is trying to convince us that “the national” will fill the gap! So, am to believe that a 40k contract that stands to alienate a country of prospective fans and contributing alums is a good idea! Ok one more time, the national is good, the national is great. What now no Sioux, lets just call us the BOHICA’S!

    • I guess I need to be more attentive in my reading. I see what was a 40k per year arrangement is now a 200k per year arrangement. Kudos to the negotiator, but I have to believe that midco will price their product at a point much larger than we paid before! I seriously doubt that American Tire can shoulder a 500% increase in advertising expenses. Hence, I expect UNDs gain will be our loss. But I will wait and see, however i will absolutely gag if my cable choices are the gophers, and maybe the huskies!

  13. It may or may not be the “final” game….but it definitely is the final regular season game agin the rodents. Love to see the UND beat ‘em again for the Broadmoor.

  14. So the $1M took away the possibility of reaching the fans (” UND Athletic Director Brian Faison said. “Financially, it’s great.” ). (“This agreement continues to give all of our teams tremendous exposure……” Faison said.” HA!!!!!) At least the UND could take part of its purse and put it into HD UND-SN in time for the 2013 season. This is positively a stab in the back to those of us whose lives have been accustomed to watching the UND hockey games every weekend, even if it meant paying for the absolutely horrible B2B (and others) broadcasts for away games. I suppose the annual cost for UND-SN is going to go up too! Waiting to see that! The UND was one of the biggest draws for live-streaming last year. Looks like that trend will continue.

      • Just tell us what we need to see UND mens hockey games. Does a ND resident need to have cable, direct tv or dish network to watch all the home games and some of the away games? What does the rest of the world need to have?

        • As of right now, a North Dakota resident would need cable. The rest of the world will probably have to watch on CBS Sports or the internet. I don’t fully know all the options at this time. This is all still a year and a half away, so I don’t want to make definitive statements right now. Next fall, I will try to relay the options.

      • I assure you I read it…and no where did I say the Midco deal was related to the CBS deal…that’s a NCHC deal, as we all know. The issue is the significant reduction of nationally broadcast games…therefore the exposure, as it appears today, is significantly reduced, contrary to what Mr Faison says. Everyone understands how “great” the financial deal is. My point is, if the UND received this big windfall, I would like to see them invest in HD for their internet broadcasts since that’s where all the lost viewers of the previously nationally televised games on FCS will have to turn, as Mr Miller’s story indicates and you confirmed.

  15. so will non-midco cable systems across the region still be able to pick up the und games? i have a smaller cable provider near williston, and i am going to start banging the drum to get them to carry cbs college sports, i have a feeling it may take a while to get them to carry it.

  16. If you want to get mad at somebody about not being able to see UND games, direct the anger at the NCHC as it appears that UND “took one for the team” with the conference’s TV deal. The NCHC’s TV deal, not the MidCo one, is what will keep all UND home games off a national channel. That was part of the announcement when the NCHC signed the deal with CBS Sports. Since MidCo’s channel is regional and a lower tier, it’s not blocked by the CBS deal.

  17. Anyone else convinced Mr. Brian Faison is the wrong person for the Athletic Director position at UND? This new tv contract is proof of his inability to lead UND Athletics in a positive direction and grow the exposure of the athletic programs.

      • Where you stand on this issue depends on where you sit! We are assuming that if you live in the midco coverage area you will get to see the games. Those of us outside that bubble see it as though we are, for the most part, left out. However, it remains to be seen how Midco will recoup their million dollars! They have to be gambling that either advertising revenue will significantly increase, or they will charge linking cable systems a premium, or the games will be pay per view. I offer the latter tongue in cheek, but 200k is a lot to get back from such a small market.

      • Not to me if the number of games broadcast on DirecTv (FSC/CBS-SN) is so significantly reduced. The only way this is a good deal for me is if the UND-SN goes HD because that’s where I expect to be forced to watch many of the home games as NCHC. I accept the fact that I have to watch the inferior internet broadcasts of the away games. But at least it’s something. With this big windfall of $1M, I hope the UND puts some of it into HD. The primary issue is national broadcasts, then internet broadcasts…..not Midco. Everyone is happy the UND got the bigger, $1M contract but it hurt all the regular viewers on the national landscape. I am very interested to see what developments take place with CBS-SN and the UND to get as many games broadcast as FCS/CBS-SN did last year.

        • The article states that MidCo is required to have HD by the third year:

          “The contract requires Midcontinent to carry live events in high definition by the third year of the deal. Midcontinent will absorb those production costs.”

          Since I live in Fargo, I’m not expecting to benefit from this as I have doubts that CableOne will dedicate a HD channel to UND hockey since they’re so slow adding HD channels.

      • The deal isn’t solely about the monetary terms of the contract. The deal is also about exposure of the University and its athletics to markets well beyond North Dakota. Although the contract appears to be better in terms of revenue for the University, it is not good in terms of the nationwide tv coverage. With this new tv deal many people from all areas of the country may not be able to watch as many games if the games are no longer shown on the FCS channel. Shrinking the tv coverage is not a good marketing move for the University. Perhaps another tv deal will be worked out in the future for better nationwide tv coverage. Maybe Midco will work a deal out with FCS for extended coverage? Keep us posted Brad. Thank you.

        • Ummm… UND maximized it’s exposure that the NCHC would allow. I’m sure UND would love to keep all it’s games on Fox College Sports, but the NCHC contract with CBS Sports doesn’t allow it.

  18. The online chat is the best way to follow the Sioux, as it combines game interaction/info w online comedy. Where else can one witness the misspelling of the word “pants”? Awesome….:-)

    • I”ll be using that probably next year to follow games too! Hopefully Brad and Jason can find another free blogging website so we dont have to pay to follow a blog.

  19. Not convinced, but trending that way. Seems to be a “yes man” that always says the right things to the media. Sometimes have to wonder what accomplishments can directly be attributed that direction.

    • If anybody should be mad at anybody, be mad at the NCHC and the contract they agreed to with CBS. Everybody’d be in the same situation of Forum Communications got the contract. The FCS contract would be up after this year anyway. Hopefully, CBS sports will realize that UND will be the biggest draw of the contract, and decide to televise a lot of UND games (kind of like how Roots Sports is hanging its hat on Montana and Montana St. for Big Sky football.)

  20. ok got that out of my system. But i have a question. Is it midcos fault that FCS wont pick up the games or is it because FCS doesnt agree with the new deal? And i dont see why the hockey games couldnt just be viewable on WDAZ/WDAY like in the old days! i am pretty sure that people in the GF/Fargo area would rather watch hockey games on Friday and Saturday nights than what ABC has to offer.

  21. 2012-13
    Midco – all home hockey games, plus some football, basketball, volleyball, women’s hockey
    Fox College sports – all Midco cable games
    Root Sports – some football
    Direct TV – most of Fox College sports telecasts
    Big Sky TV (internet) – all Big Sky events

    2013-14
    Midco – all home hockey games, plus some football, basketball, volleyball, women’s hockey
    CBS Sports – some UND hockey games both home and away
    Big Ten network – UND @ Minn or Wisco
    Fox College Sports – only non-conference UND home hockey games, plus Midco’s football, basketball, volleyball, and women’s hockey
    Root sports – some UND football
    Big Sky TV (internet) – Big Sky games
    UND athletics internet – all home games for spectator sports

  22. Thank you Brad for the clarification on the contracts. Is there any chance of CBS and FCS making a deal to expand national tv coverage? I am guessing probably not. It really is unfortunate to be living out of the Midco tv coverage range, those who are out of range are getting a bad deal. We are losing our school name and now we losing our ability to watch and follow men’s hockey. What will be next? Retire our school colors?

  23. “Matt’s really happy and much of what he’s been able to accomplish in his career is because of UND,” Jim said. “It’s a special place for him and our family and it always will be. We all look back at that and it’s one of the best decisions our family has ever been a part of.”

    Nice quote from Matt’s Father. To bad JT Miller didn’t get a chance to read this quote before he made his decision. Good thing Schmaltz is 100% committed to UND – another wise decision. It won’t be long before he stamps his name into the Stanley Cup with TJ Oshie.

  24. Sad reallity for the NCHC as they leave the WCHA for the NcHC.

    It isn’t always greener on the other side of the bridge.

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