Big 12 television deal is pathetic

Once again, what appears to stack up as a tight contest between Missouri and Colorado won't see the airwaves again this year. Those clever negotiators at the Big 12 offices once again have sold out the second-tier schools this year.

Again this week, Tiger fans will have to travel to Boulder, Colorado to see there Tigers play against the Buffaloes of Colorado, because once again the game will not be televised. Through seven games this year Mizzou has been on television for a whooping one time, and even that time people had to search for the game. In the St. Louis area, the game was televised on local charter cable and was not even televised on the local Fox Sports. Fox Sports and ABC have the exclusive rights to the Big 12, and the only time a Big 12 game is on ABC is when it is a marquee match up, such as Nebraska verse Oklahoma.

Fox Sports has games at 11:30, 2:30, and 6:00. The 11:30 game is the game of the game of the week, also known as syndicated game. Fox has the right to produce the game, and provide for local stations or any stations that want to televise the game. The Big 12 never has two games that are on at the same time, because they do not want games to rival each other. To this fan of college football, that is very selfish and makes no sense. One of the biggest television networks in the country, ABC, which always has the best games of the week always has at least three to four games a week which are separated regionally.

If you want to watch college football this week you will most likely have to watch another drab Big 10 game. At 12:10 on ESPN you can catch Illinois at Purdue, and on ESPN2 at the same time you can watch Southern Mississippi at Penn State. Of course, neither Southern Miss. or Penn St. are ranked.

At 3:30 you can turn it over to ABC to catch another Big 10 battle of Michigan vs. Michigan State, and then when you think you have enough Big 10 football, think again! Because at 6:45 on ESPN Ohio State takes on Mo Ankney and those pesky Minnesota Gophers. Oh yeah, neither of those two teams are ranked either.

So if you like Big 10 football tune in every week because it is the same every Saturday.

Love them or hate them, the Big 10 knows how to get television time for their member teams. The Big 12, on the other hand, doesn't act like a "super conference" when it comes to television deals. If there was ever evidence of a pervasive inferiority complex with this conference, the television situation should be proof enough.

So you ask what quality games is the Big 12 and Fox Sports going to show, well lets see we got.

First of all we have the 7-1 Texas verse 2-5 powerhouse Baylor, and then the late game you can catch another great game when 9-0 Nebraska takes on 2-5 Kansas. I guess the Big 12 and Fox Sports would rather show games you watch for the first quarter than a game that will be close and likely be competitive to the end of the contest.

This week the Tigers take on #25-ranked Colorado, and Iowa State takes on Kansas State. Both these games are guaranteed to be much more exciting and entertaining than a 50-7 impending slaughter of Baylor. Or watching Nebraska put the final stakes into the coaching career of Terry "Booger" Allen at Kansas.

Earlier in the year Mizzou has a triple overtime game against Oklahoma State that was not televised, but instead, midwestern viewers were treated to the 48-14 drubbing of Iowa State by Nebraska. So this weekend instead of watching four teams that match up pretty equally to each other you get to watch two more blowouts. Great programming once again... Fox!

What is even more perplexing is that there have been four KU games televised this year and one game for the Tigers. The Big 12 has ten cities in the top 100 television markets of Dallas, Denver, St. Louis, and Kansas City. So this week, a game that will effect people in three of those four cities won't be televised.

Speaking on the situation of St. Louis television it is a complete joke. When the whole mess about the Nebraska game not being showed on a local station people had to watch it on local cable. KTVI in St. Louis has carried the Big 12 package in recent years, but the general manger of KTVI said they wouldn't carry the game this year. He said they wouldn't pick them up because they are usually not good matchups. So KTVI would rather show movies that nobody watches. Another choice for the Mizzou vs. Nebraska would be KPLR. KPLR picked up the Mizzou-Colorado game two years ago when KTVI had a baseball game. Instead of watching the Mizzou game you can watch "WWF Metal" and "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, "The Lost World."

Many people have criticized Mizzou AD Mike Alden for this, but clearly this isn't Alden's fault. First, the Big 12 needs to have regional coverage for their 6:00 games and show the premiere game at 11:00, that everybody in the country sees.

However, there is a silver lining Tiger fans. As the preseason USA/ESPN #9 ranked team in the country, the Missouri basketball Tigers will be televised early and often. As of the writing of this article, there are 27 basketball games that are scheduled to be televised this year.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories