Jan 16, 2012 11:37 PM by KPAX News Staff
MISSOULA - The biggest football game in the state has aired on free TV for years, but that's all about to change. We have learned when the Grizzlies and Bobcats kickoff in the fall you'll have to pay to see it on your television
KPAX-TV carried the Big Sky Classic for about two decades,b ut on Tuesday the Big Sky Conference will announce a regional sports network outbid KPAX-TV for the right to that game and many more as it restructures its television broadcast contracts.
Big Sky Conference Assistant Commissioner Jon Kasper said KPAX-TV and Max Media will still be "in the mix" to show Montana football, they just won't have all the games as they have in the past.
Our sources tell us the Big Sky Classic is one of the games the Montana stations will lose.
The games that the regional sports network chooses to air would be available, at a cost, through a satellite or cable provider.
Kasper assures Montana football fans their conference games will be on TV.
"We anticipate still all the Montana games being televised in the state of Montana," Kasper said. "Some of those games are going to be expanded beyond the borders, which is huge for the exposure of all Big Sky Conference schools, including The University of Montana and Montana State."
The sports network that won the bid serves millions of viewers in the Northwest.
"Millions of people are gonna be able to see selected games form those two schools through this package," Kasper said.
The University of Montana and Montana State athletic directors did not want to comment in advance of Tuesday's announcement.