ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley Conference has entered into a new three-year agreement with St. Louis-based FOX Sports Midwest to continue to serve as the lead carrier of The Valley’s television network package.
The new multi-year agreement between the Missouri Valley Conference and FOX Sports Midwest begins with the 2011-12. FOX Sports Midwest began serving as the league’s flagship television carrier in 1996-97 and has continued in that capacity through the 2010-11 academic year.
“There was a high degree of anxiety when the Missouri Valley Conference made the decision to take its television operation in-house nearly 20 years ago,” said MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin, who is in his 24th year with the league. “Finding a home for our telecasts was a top priority, and from the very beginning, we have been so fortunate to have this partnership with the good people at FOX Sports
Midwest. They are consummate professionals.
“The mutually beneficial relationship with FOX Sports Midwest has enabled us to take our television package from a regional entity to a national vehicle with its relationship with FOX College Sports.”
In the five seasons that were covered in the previous agreement, the Missouri Valley Conference had produced approximately 36 live events for distribution on FOX Sports Midwest, FOX College Sports and Comcast SportsNet, but its men’s basketball telecasts (22 on average) were limited to distribution within the league’s six-state footprint.
The Valley will receive even greater distribution in the new agreement with all MVC TV Network productions for FOX Sports being cleared on FOX College Sports and ESPN3.
FOX Sports will control exclusive in-market distribution (the league’s six-state footprint) via all media -- including all digital -- plus outer-market distribution on television only via FOX College Sports for MVC TV Network productions.
Outside of the six-state footprint, ESPN retains distribution via all media -- including ESPN Full Court, ESPN3, etc. -- except for co-existence on television with FOX College Sports.
“We’re grateful for what FOX Sports has done for our conference down the years,” said Elgin. “Their people and loyalty to compromise on behalf of the league have made it possible for us to turn our regional telecasts into contests that are distributed nationally.
“Our staff wants to thank Jack Donovan (FOX Sports Midwest vice president/general manager) and Karen Brodkin (FOX Sports Los Angeles legal counsel) for their support and their willingness to work through any and all issues during these complicated negotiations.”
The Missouri Valley Conference, which took over the telecast production and syndication of all basketball games and other events at the start of the 1993-94 season, annually produces a minimum 35-telecast package, which is cleared by FOX Sports Midwest, sister networks FOX Sports Indiana and FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX College Sports and Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
The Missouri Valley Conference televises regular-season men’s and women’s basketball games and league championship contests in the sports of men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball on FOX Sports Midwest.
FOX Sports Midwest also clears the State Farm MVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Preseason Special, the State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament Preview Show and the State Farm MVC Women’s Basketball Championship Preview Show.
In addition to its television network involvement, FOX Sports Midwest serves as a presenting sponsor for the State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and the State Farm MVC Women’s Basketball Championship at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.