FARGO — The University of North Dakota wants its sports teams to get all of North Dakota State’s television coverage, and more.
In an aggressive request for proposals circulated last week, UND wants all of its conference football games – home and away – to be televised by its broadcast partner, along with all men’s and women’s basketball home games. , volleyball, football and softball.
This is added to every home hockey game.
UND also wants pre-game and post-game shows, one-hour live recruiting shows and series highlighting its hockey and football programs to be produced by its television partner.
The university also wants its broadcast partners to serve primarily as UND’s marketing, promotional, and public relations arms.
“The University of North Dakota is seeking partners who will provide quality programming and aggressively promote that programming across an entire portfolio of assets,” the Request for Proposals (RFP) states. “It is important that there is an effort from media partners to promote UND not only during the season, but throughout the calendar year as well.”
. The school plans to award the rights by early summer.
Midco Sports of Sioux Falls, SD has held the television rights for UND sports since 2012. The last time the rights were available, in 2017, UND awarded Midco a five-year contract without a bid because there was no other interested parties.
But Fargo-based Forum Communications, owner of WDAY-TV and The Forum, is known to be interested this time around. Industry sources say Gray Television’s KVLY-TV may be interested in showing UND football matches if the school is willing to split the overall rights. KVLY aired North Dakota State football for 12 years before Forum Communications secured the rights to Bison in 2021, so the station could use UND to fill that hole.
KVLY augmented NDSU’s football broadcasts about a decade ago, airing games on a statewide network that covered North Dakota, then hitting the road to broadcast most games in exterior of the Bison.
When Forum Communications secured the rights in 2021, it continued football coverage while adding broadcasts of more men’s and women’s home basketball games and some other sports like volleyball, baseball, soccer and softball.
UND is clearly trying to match NDSU’s TV coverage and in some cases exceed it.
The tender is, in the words of one industry source, “very specific, to say the least”.
Sometimes the RFP states that the UND is looking for a marketing and PR partner as well as someone to broadcast their games on TV.
“The University of North Dakota expects consistent and frequent coverage of the Fighting Hawks throughout the calendar year,” the RFP states. “The university is seeking a partner who will coordinate with UND communications and athletics staff to establish and implement an annual plan…”
The university wants its TV partner to act as a production company for its athletic department, using the TV station’s employees, equipment, time and money to produce content that will be owned by the university. university.
By calling for the production of “content on demand” such as the series “Day by Day” on UND football or “Through These Doors” on UND hockey, the RFP asks its TV partner to produce 15 to 20 episodes per year academic while “UND will be the copyright holder of these episodes and all episodes will be posted on UND’s YouTube channel and social media accounts.”
Guaranteed money, of course, will be an important aspect of the deals, but it seems to trump how much content the broadcast partner can produce and how it will be distributed.
“We encourage submitters to create proposals that will serve our existing fan base and reach new fans,” the RFP states. “Ultimately, we are looking for a true partnership that will equip our university with innovative and quality media assets that will differentiate UND from its peers.”