Bison football game is not on TV on Saturday due to rights issue


North Dakota state football fans will not be able to watch a local broadcast of Saturday’s Bison game against Towson in Towson, MD.

Neither NDSU media partner WDAY nor ESPN + will broadcast the game “due to the refusal of Towson University’s preferred media partner to allow WDAY to broadcast from the stadium,” according to a statement from Stacey Anderson, responsible for WDAY operations.

FloSports, a subscription video streaming service, is a partner of the Colonial Athletic Association, of which Towson is a member.

“(Towson’s) TV Rights House is unwilling to allow side-by-side broadcasting,” said Joshua Rohrer, vice president of broadcasting and general manager of WDAY. “We made many attempts to come to an agreement and they refused.”

Exclusive shows are not uncommon. For example, the Bison game on November 13 at Youngstown State will only air on ESPN + since it is the Missouri Valley Football Conference game of the week. NDSU’s 2022 game in Arizona will also not air on WDAY. These stipulations are usually known well in advance and that doesn’t appear to be the case with the Towson game, Rohrer said.

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“It was definitely a surprise,” Rohrer said. “From a continuity standpoint, you hate losing a game like this.”

Forum Communications Company owns WDAY-TV, The Forum newspaper and InForum.com among more than 20 other regional media brands. In May, Forum Communications Company secured the television rights to Bison Athletics for at least three years under an agreement announced by Bison Sports Properties from Learfield IMG. Bison Sports Properties resumed the media contracting process by signing a 10-year, $ 21.9 million agreement with the university in 2020.

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