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MU working through kinks with pay-per-view

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | 8:20 p.m. CDT; updated 2:49 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 15, 2009

COLUMBIA - MU associate athletic director Mark Alnutt understands the criticism. He said making games available through a pay-per-view service is a learning experience. The process will evolve as university officials become acclimated to promoting a program with national appeal.

"The first thing people think is, ‘OK, well, they're forcing me to buy this broadcast. Why isn't this game on TV? They're just trying to make money. It's just another revenue generator,'" he said. "Well, OK, part of that is true, but a majority of that is false. We're trying to get the product out to our fans, and there is not another way to do this besides pay-per-view. In terms of the revenue, it depends how many views are bought in this package. There could be a chance that we might break even or there could be a chance that we might make some revenue out of this."

NEXT GAME

Nevada (1-1) at No. 6 Missouri (2-0)

WHEN: 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Memorial Stadium

TV: Pay per view through Fox Sports Net

RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM, KBXR/102.3 FM

JACKED: Follow the game online with Jacked, a second screen Web platform you can find online at ColumbiaMissourian.com. Track statistics as they happen, chat with a Missourian reporter covering the game, view photos, video and link to other media, all while the game is being played.



In early July, the University of Missouri and Fox Sports Net began discussions about making select MU non-conference games unaired by Big 12 Conference television partners ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Net available through pay-per-view telecasts. Last Saturday, customers purchased MU's game against Southeast Missouri State for $29.95, considered a standard rate for college football broadcasts; they will pay the same amount for the Nevada telecast this Saturday.

Officials declined to release consumer and revenue figures from the SEMO broadcast. They said FSN and the University of Missouri share revenue after expenses.

For MU, pay-per-view telecasts mean a new frontier usually reserved for traditional conference powers. Before this year, MU's only other football pay-per-view broadcast was a 2002 loss at Nebraska. FSN officials said they have offered pay-per-view options for Texas and Nebraska home games for years. This season, Nebraska's first three home games and Texas' home-opener were televised via pay-per-view feeds.

In the summer, the non-conference Big 12 television schedule was released. Games not selected for broadcast may be scheduled for pay-per-view telecasts. With a preseason AP No. 6 ranking and the return of Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Chase Daniel, FSN officials said MU had appeal to make pay-per-view broadcasts possible.

"Mizzou has ascended into that upper-echelon of college football, and it presents more television opportunities," said Geoff Goldman, a spokesman for FSN Midwest.

"When you get there, it generates new TV opportunities like this. This is something we and the university wanted to do to give fans the option of seeing the game on TV."

FSN produces the event and makes it available to cable and satellite providers throughout Missouri. For the Columbia area, Mediacom was the participating carrier. Fans could purchase the game by either selecting an on-screen option or by dialing a 1-800 number.

"On a pay-per-view, (an event's availability) is responding directly to what customers want," said Phyllis Peters, Mediacom's communications director. "It's a platform that might be growing, and we can always consider expanding."

MU officials said they will consider future pay-per-view broadcasts.

"We're always going to take a backseat to the Big 12 television contract," Alnutt said. "If our games aren't picked to be broadcast with our regular broadcast partners -- ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports -- we're going to continue to look at this. I don't see this as a one-time or two-game ordeal. I see this as an experience that we can learn from and continue to grow."

 


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Comments

Leroy Jenkems September 11, 2008 | 1:58 p.m.

Hopefully the Missourian will follow up with the Athletic Department at the end of the season to find out what the take rate.

"We're trying to get the product out to our fans, and there is not another way to do this besides pay-per-view."

Sure there is. It's called Webcasting. In fact, the J school is using it right now to get the centennial "product" out to its fans.

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