There has been discussion of a Summit League-wide media rights agreement since Commissioner Josh Fenton got on the job a couple of years ago. Today one of the Commissioner’s top priorities became a reality with the announcement of a league-wide agreement with Midco Sports Network and CBS Sports Network, starting this season.
What this essentially means is the newly crowned Summit League Network, powered by Midco Sports +, will be a one-stop shop for Summit League fans. The cost of Midco Sports+ is and it seems will continue to be $9.99 a month. In the press release it was announced that ‘fans can expect more than 600 live Summit League events to be streamed through SLN on the Midco Sports Plus app each year”, this basically means that all Summit League home games in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball will be available on the app.
Why this fan thinks you should be excited
- For a decent price you get every single home game and by default every every conference game in the sports mentioned above.
- Everything gathered in one spot. In order to find your teams game in the past you often had to search several different sites and locations with limited options on devices to stream from
- Replays will be available for all the games mentioned above. If you miss part of, or the entire game, catch it whenever you can. Don’t get mad if you got on Twitter and saw spoilers though
- Men’s basketball championships and select men’s basketball games on a national platform with CBS Sports Network. While select games were streamed on the ESPN app previously, this marks the first time a national audience on basic cable will be able to catch Summit League Men’s basketball
- This wasn’t promised but I think is a reasonable expectation. League-wide production value should improve. While each school is responsible for its production, with the league driving the bus, those outside of Midco productions are likely to get additional resources for production
- The ability to stream multiple games in one spot, and if it works as well as Midco Sports+ has so far, they will work well and if your internet can keep up, will have a great picture. Frustrated with (I feel like I am about to swear) mirror schedules? You can watch the men’s and women’s games for your favorite school at the same time.
- Another hunch but this is likely just one step in a bigger plan but a big first step. Likely to be followed by more nationally televised games, a reason to draw a 10th or maybe more members, big picture maybe an expansion into sports not previously Summit League sports.
- Expanded advertising opportunities and therefore revenue for member schools. Also, all Summit League fans should get the opportunity to dream of Minsky’s Pizza out of Kansas City or Waldo’s Chicken out of Tulsa. Maybe all of Summit League Twitter will admire the young lady in the Roos credit union ad like the Reaching the Summit writers have
Why this fan holds out some skepticism
- Games that were previously free to view will no longer be. Although Denver games won’t be on a paywall anymore. Also should be noted that it sounds like in the announcement there will still be games both broadcast on Midco Sports+ and for free on member websites
- Everyone will have to check their cable subscriptions for CBS Sports Network, this could lead to deciding on getting the network or missing some of your team’s games. However, this already happened for games that were in Denver or some select games at North Dakota State and South Dakota State that were behind a paywall.
- If you don’t get Midco Sports+ you will be missing a lot of your teams’ games
- extra streaming cost
- The loss of ESPN+ hurts from a national perspective
- It remains to be seen the production value
Overall, this fan thinks this is a huge win for the Summit League, the players, member institutions, and the fans. Yes, there are some negatives, but this fan thinks overall this grades out as a B for all involved. Good start to a league-wide media deal.