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NSIC reaches agreement with Midco for live football broadcasts next fall

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference reached a one-year agreement with Midco Sports Network for live coverage of 20 football games next fall. Forum file photo

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference reached a one-year agreement with Midco Sports Network for live broadcasts of 20 football games next season.

The announcement, which came Friday, April 21, includes 11 weeks of an “NSIC Thursday Night Game of the Week” that are scheduled to air at 7 p.m. on MidcoSN.

“I think it’s a really positive thing for our conference,” said NSIC commissioner Erin Lind. “It’s kind of something unheard of for Division II. It’s a big deal.”

Minnesota State Moorhead will be part of three live football broadcasts, including one Thursday night game. The Dragons host Southwest Minnesota State at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, on MidcoSN. They are also parts of live Midco broadcasts on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Augustana and Saturday, Nov. 4, at Minot State. The Saturday broadcasts will be aired on either MidcoSN or its second channel.

“We think it’s an opportunity for us to move the league forward,” said Dragons athletic director Doug Peters. “We’re excited to put Division II football into a bigger footprint.”

MidcoSN will also expand its live coverage of the NSIC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, adding the Saturday and Sunday quarterfinal games to go along with existing live coverage of the semifinals and championship games.

“We’re doubling our live basketball tournament coverage,” Lind said.

The past two seasons, the Dragons have opened their football season with a game on Thursday night at Scheels Field at Alex Nemzek Stadium.

Next fall, the Dragons’ Thursday night game will come in Week 2, meaning a shorter week of preparation.

“But there are so many positives,” said Lind, adding it’s a one-year pilot project. “It’s different and it’s a change, but it’s something that’s progressive for us for football. … It’s going to feel different. You might get more students at a game on a Thursday night.”

Peters has similar thoughts on the Thursday games.

“I think we have increased visibility playing on a Thursday night,” Peters said. “Night games during the week for sports generally draw better attendance for your student body.”

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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