ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Valley Conference will distribute a men’s basketball telecast package on Bally Sports Midwest and NBC Sports Chicago in 2021-22, Commissioner Jeff Jackson announced today.
The Valley, with Kansas City-based LTN Global Communications serving as its production company, has worked in conjunction with Bally Sports Midwest — along with its sister regional outlets Bally Sports Indiana and Bally Sports Kansas City — and NBC Sports Chicago to clear the telecasts.
The Valley on ESPN — the league’s co-branded digital platform via the ESPN app — will also distribute the productions outside the two networks’ combined six-state footprint — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Telecasts shown within the regional sports networks’ distribution area will be streamed on the Bally Sports app.
The Valley is in multi-year agreements with Bally Sports Midwest and NBC Sports Chicago through the 2023-24 academic year.
“The alliance between our regional partnerships with Bally Sports Midwest and NBC Sports Chicago, and the cooperation between those networks and ESPN, continue to generate national linear and digital distribution of our men’s basketball games,” said Jackson, who is in his first year as commissioner. “This collaborative affiliation provides multiple ways for our fans to consume our men’s basketball content.”
The 2021-22 package features five appearances by 2021 MVC regular-season and defending State Farm MVC Tournament champion Loyola and four appearances each for Drake and Missouri State. Loyola reached the Sweet 16 during the 2021 NCAA Tournament, while Drake received an at-large bid and advanced to the second round.
Five schools — Bradley, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State and Valparaiso — will each receive three exposures.
The league telecast schedule tips off Wednesday, Dec. 1, when Loyola plays host to Indiana State at Gentile Arena on the north side of Chicago, Illinois.
After the first of the year, Conference play resumes as the first of two televised match-ups between Drake and Missouri State occurs at JQH Arena in Springfield, Missouri, on Sunday, Jan. 2.
January coverage also includes Valparaiso at Northern Iowa (Jan. 5), Bradley at Loyola (Jan. 8), Illinois State at Drake (Jan. 12), Drake at Evansville (Jan. 15), Loyola at Evansville (Jan. 18), Evansville at Illinois State (Jan. 23), Southern Illinois at Loyola (Jan. 25) and Indiana State at Bradley (Jan. 30).
The February schedule features Missouri State at Southern Illinois (Feb. 2), Missouri State at Drake (Feb. 9), Valparaiso at Missouri State (Feb. 12), Loyola at Valparaiso (Feb. 16), Illinois State at Bradley (Feb. 19) and Northern Iowa at Indiana State (Feb. 23).
The 2022 State Farm MVC Men’s Basketball Championship — the league’s 32nd-consecutive event in St. Louis — on March 3-6 will feature nine games with the first six contests being shown on Bally Sports Midwest and NBC Sports Chicago.
Both opening-round games on March 3 and the four quarterfinal games on March 4 will air on Bally Sports Midwest, NBC Sports Chicago and The Valley on ESPN outside the six-state RSN footprint.
The semifinals on March 5 will be on CBS Sports Network, and the title contest on March 6 will air at 1 p.m. Central on CBS Sports for a 17th-consecutive season.
In 2020, The Valley joined the Big East (New York City) as the only Division I athletics leagues to conduct their men’s basketball tournaments in the same city for 30 or more consecutive years.
The 2022 event will mark the 26th-straight year that Bally Sports Midwest has distributed Arch Madness telecasts and the 18th-consecutive year that NBC Sports Chicago has carried tournament action.
Bally Sports Midwest, which was rebranded from FOX Sports Midwest on March 31, 2021, began carrying MVC-produced content during the 1996-97 academic term — the first year the Conference brought all 10 teams to St. Louis for Arch Madness.