Almost one week ago, North Dakota State’s athletics department announced significant news for the media rights to broadcast Bison athletics on the television and radio.
Gone is the Mighty 790 KFGO radio coverage for the Bison. Hello, Radio Fargo-Moorhead Media and, more importantly, hello 1660 AM “The Bison.”
Supposedly coming soon to an airwave near you, 1660 AM will have exclusive NDSU athletics content, including, but not limited to, the re-airing of games and Bison-based talk shows, and will be a platform to air other Bison sports.
Now that sounds to me like an entire frequency on your radio dial will be nothing but Bison, Bison, Bison, which has the potential to be something really unique and cool for the F-M area and the surrounding areas.
During the fall, Bison football basically dominates the attention and accompanying the success the team has been having will be a thirst for more coverage and information on the team. An exclusive station for the Bison could fill that thirst with talks shows taking callers to discuss the next crop of Bison in the NFL Draft or whatever else floats their boat.
Bison basketball would take over following what seems like an annual Bison migration down to Frisco, Texas. But what about everything else outside those two sports? How does “The Bison” bring listeners in during the other months of the year, and quite honestly, can basketball even handle its own time on the radio?
These are some of the challenges Radio F-M Media will be facing with “The Bison.” It’ll be interesting to see what creative measures might be taken to reel in listeners and how other sports, like volleyball, soccer, baseball and softball might be integrated into the programming.
I’m all for exposing all different kinds of sports to the masses, but there’s a good chance I won’t be tuning in for a re-air of a Bison game against Minot State. Coaches shows, bringing in athletic director Matt Larsen for a weekly program and covering the weekly press conferences live could be great additions to the line-up.
The second biggest news stemming from the media agreement is an exciting partnership NDSU basketball will have with Midco Sports Network, arguably the best network covering upper Midwest sports.
All home men’s and women’s basketball games will be televised in HD including as many Summit League conference home games allowed outside of the league’s existing agreement. Goodbye Me-TV, nobody could find you on the channel listings anyways.
Bison Basketball will now get their version of the Bison Football Show with Chris Klieman, as Midco SN will produce and broadcast a coaches show for the upcoming season. ESPN3 will also be an option now for all games produced by Midco SN.
The new partnership with Midco SN can only help with NDSU’s exposure in men’s and women’s basketball, which in turn can play a part in recruiting the best of the Midwest.
Finally, NBC North Dakota retained the rights to broadcast Bison football games all across the state in HD. No surprises there.