Posted: 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
No. 14 Missouri plays No. 22 Florida on Saturday, and if you live in mid-Missouri and subscribe to DirecTV, you may not be able to watch it. DirecTV and News-Press & Gazette Company (known locally as "The Networks of Mid-Missouri" and referred to as NPG here) continue to be at an impasse in their contract negotiations. The result is the picture above, which is what is now seen on KMIZ 17 (ABC), KQFX 22 (FOX), MeTV, and MyZouTV 18 (My Network TV).
While this money grab from both sides has affected local TV and network programming on both ABC and FOX, it's also meant no college football, NASCAR, ALCS or NFL games. More relevant to this article is Channel 18's SEC TV syndication agreement.
If you don't know, let me give you an overview of how syndicated SEC TV works for football:
Beyond all of that, the local stations (almost always owned by a corporation that does the negotiating) have their own distribution contracts with cable providers and satellite companies.
In this case, NPG no longer has a contract with DirecTV. It expired at the end of September and was extended to October 9 in "good faith." An agreement still hasn't been reached, and DirecTV can no longer distribute their feed.
So what's going to happen? DirecTV and NPG could reach an agreement in the next several days, which would restore service. ESPN could offer up the game on one of its alternate networks (209-1 or 209-2). Or NPG could allow DirecTV to be broadcast, as NPG is a Missouri company operating out of St. Joseph.
Collectively, we can call and complain. A lot. Get your friends, co-workers and neighbors to help. It shouldn't matter if you are a DirecTV subscriber or not, complain anyway. Below are a few numbers to call and let them know how you really feel:
KMIZ: (573) 449-0917
NPG: I can't find a phone number, but drop them a line here.
DirecTV: (800) 531-5000
If you subscribe to the sports tier, you might be able to watch the game on MSGHD (634), but I'm not sure if there's a local blackout policy in place.
We've seen a lot of these contract disputes and blackouts in the past few years, and I'm sure we're going to see it more, especially as cable companies and satellite providers consolidate and people continue to move to streaming as their primary source of entertainment.
Are you as excited as I am for the SEC Network?