If Missouri announces today that it’s playing in the Insight Bowl, the best chance to see the game will be to travel to Tempe, Ariz., to watch in person or to head to a sports bar.
The Insight Bowl and Texas Bowl, both Big 12 Conference-affiliated bowls, are scheduled to air on the NFL Network. But Mediacom, the main cable distributor in Columbia, does not carry the NFL Network. Satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network both carry the NFL Network.
The bowl selection process follows a complicated formula. The Tigers will most likely go to the Dec. 29 Insight Bowl, the Sun Bowl, which is Dec. 29 on CBS, or the Alamo Bowl, which is Dec. 30 on ESPN. Insight Bowl officials said they would take Missouri if the team was still available, but the Alamo and possibly the Sun Bowl get to pick a Big 12 team before the Insight Bowl. If the Gator Bowl picks a Big 12 team, Gator Bowl officials said they would take Texas. In this scenario, the Sun Bowl can’t select a Big 12 team. Sun Bowl officials have also said they would select the Tigers if they are available. The Alamo Bowl selects before both the Sun Bowl and Insight Bowl. Alamo Bowl officials said they are favoring Texas Tech and Kansas State, but Missouri is still a possibility. Minnesota has accepted an invitation to the Insight Bowl. Oregon State is set to play in the Sun Bowl and Iowa is going to the Alamo Bowl.
The NFL Network is getting a lot of attention recently for airing live regular season games for the first time and some people are realizing they don’t get the channel. The NFL Network has eight regular season NFL games on Thursdays and Saturdays this year.
Fans of teams playing on the NFL Network can still see the games on local over-the-air stations, but only in the cities where the teams playing are from. The league requires that NFL games on cable be shown on a local station. College football, however, doesn’t have that rule.
“There is no local over-the-air station component in college football and college bowl games,” Seth Palansky, a spokesman for the NFL Network, said. “We plan on being the sole televisor of this Insight Bowl and the three other games we have.”
Besides the Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 and the Insight Bowl, the NFL Network also has broadcast rights to two senior all-star games.
Chad Moller, a spokesman for Missouri’s athletic department, said Big 12 officials were talking with the NFL Network. Big 12 officials in Irving, Texas, could not be reached for comment because they were in Kansas City for the Big 12 football championship.
Palansky said because the NFL Network now has games, it is forcing cable providers to make a decision on whether to pick up the station as part of their packages.
“They (cable providers) will have to come to their senses and carry what people want,” Palansky said.
According to the NFL Network’s Web site, as of Sept. 1, it was available to 70 million U.S. homes with 41 million subscribers. Palansky said it is available on 175 different cable systems.