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NDSU rescinds restrictions on media access to Bison athletics

FARGO - North Dakota State University athletics' controversial rules that would have limited access for media outlets that didn't have a deal with the university will be rescinded, the university said Tuesday Aug. 2.President Dean Bresciani direc...

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North Dakota State University athletics’ controversial rules that would have limited access for media outlets that didn’t have a deal with the university will be rescinded, the university said Tuesday Aug. 2. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – North Dakota State University athletics’ controversial rules that would have limited access for media outlets that didn’t have a deal with the university will be rescinded, the university said Tuesday Aug. 2.

President Dean Bresciani directed the athletics department to ditch the guidelines it issued Friday, July 29. He wasn’t informed in advance of the guidelines, the university said

“I was profoundly disappointed when I learned the facts about this issue,” Bresciani said in a news release. “This is not the way NDSU treats local journalists and our many loyal fans who value the breadth of news coverage NDSU enjoys. As the state’s land grant university, our commitment is to access and inclusion in all endeavors.”
Athletic Director Matt Larsen also apologized in the release: “I erred in not bringing these ideas forward for the president’s review, and I regret the damage this has caused to the administration, institution and university community.”

The guidelines would have prevented outlets without NDSU broadcast-rights agreements from providing much of the coverage they do today. There would be no extended game highlights on special TV programs; no live coverage of regularly scheduled press conferences; no radio shows, pregame or postgame coverage on NDSU facilities; no live play-by-play blogging; and no one-on-one interviews with head football or basketball coaches without NDSU's written consent.

Jeremy Jorgenson, NDSU's director of sales and broadcasting, said Friday that, "We're just trying to protect our rights holders and protect ourselves."

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KVLY-TV and all NBC affiliates in North Dakota have TV broadcast rights for Bison football and Midco Sports Network has TV rights for basketball. Radio FM Media has all radio broadcast rights. The radio contract calls for a station devoted solely to Bison athletics, which grants NDSU all ad revenue from games, post-game shows, pre-game shows and coachs’ shows. The university gets 30 percent of revenue from all other Bison-related radio content.

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