SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A comprehensive television partnership has been reached between Missouri State University and Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., as part of a five-year agreement that will include high-definition (HD) telecasts of 17 MSU basketball games annually. The rights package, which includes television, on-line, digital and promotional components, was negotiated by the University’s athletics marketing partner, Missouri State Sports Properties, a property of Learfield Sports.

The exclusive agreement with Nexstar, the parent company of local broadcast stations KOLR-10 and KOZL will take effect for the 2014-15 academic year. It includes 17 basketball games per year — nine men’s and eight women’s contests — through the 2018-19 season. In addition to 42 weekly highlight shows for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, and season preview shows for all three sports. The weekly coaches shows are slated to air multiple times each week on both KOZL and KOLR-10 during the respective sports seasons.

“We are really excited about partnering with KOLR-10 and KOZL to help take our television package to the next level,” said Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “They will be devoting many of their digital, on-line and promotional assets to help market our games, grow our fan base, drive attendance and push ticket sales to MSU athletic events.

“We feel like we made a fiscally-responsible choice with no additional expenses to the department and exceeded the coverage, access, promotion and quality standards our fans and our department wanted with this deal.”     Missouri-State1

The 17 games will be carried live throughout the Springfield market on cable providers such as AT&T U-verse, Mediacom and Suddenlink; on satellite carriers Dish Network and Direct TV; and over the air within the KOLR-10 and KOZL footprints. Games will be divided between the two stations based on other programming commitments, network requirements and the Bears’ and Lady Bears’ schedules themselves.

Additional Missouri State Television Network affiliates are being finalized in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Joplin and mid-Missouri markets. Broadcast announcers will be determined in the near future, while a third-party company will be contracted to handle the on-site game production responsibilities.

“We are excited about our new relationship with Missouri State University and its Athletics program,” said Leo Henning, Vice President and General Manager for KOLR-10, KOZL, Ozarks First and Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. “We are looking forward to providing Bears fans, including the Springfield and Joplin television markets and surrounding areas, with high-definition men’s and women’s basketball games and special programs.”

Missouri State Sports Properties representative Frank Cuervo noted the new television partnership and statewide TV network are key components to telling the MSU story to its wide range of fans and followers.

“We are thrilled to be able to develop such a fantastic partnership with KOLR-10 and KOZL on behalf of Missouri State University,” said Cuervo, general manager of Missouri State Sports Properties, a property of Learfield Sports. “The exposure for Bears and Lady Bears basketball, as well as the institution as a whole, will allow Missouri State a platform from which to tell its story to a statewide audience. We look forward to many successful years working alongside Leo Henning and his team at KOLR-10 and KOZL.”

Moats also expressed gratitude to KY3, Inc., the University’s television rights holder since the 2010-11 season.

“We enjoyed four great seasons with KY3,” Moats said. “They were part of our men’s Valley championship run in 2011, our women’s conference title in 2012, and we want to thank them for their hard work as a dedicated partner.”