It was early 1984. We now had radio rights deals with three schools: Missouri, Iowa State and Kansas. Athletic directors were learning from each other that there was money in granting exclusive rights to broadcast their games on a radio network. Oklahoma State decided to get into the fray. I wanted to own the broadcast rights to OSU. But we had two obstacles to overcome. First, we were outsiders in a state where the locals got preference. And, second, we were overstretched financially. The lust to grow into Oklahoma was real. So I contacted a good friend there, Rick Parrish, who’d previously managed the Oklahoma News Network. He, a friend of his, and I put together a joint venture called OSU Sports, Ltd. I was the general partner of a three-way partnership. Having the local contact helped grease the skids with the Trustees who were wary of outsiders, and the new venture had enough financial strength and little baggage to appear clean to both the University and to an Oklahoma bank which provided financing.
We got the deal and asked Bob Feldwisch to get the network up and going. He didn’t move to the state, but instead spent long sessions there building the affiliate base and selling advertising–a gig he handled for the entire time we had the contract.
Here are two things to read: An article from theTulsa World (PDF) of July 13, 1984 about our move into the state (note of clarification, we didn’t have the rights to Illinois, all we did was distribute their broadcasts on our satellite system). The second is the Corporate Resolution about OSU Sports, Ltd. (PDF)