The first major media agreement the Patriot League had was with the network, CBS' stand-alone national network partner that used to be called CSTV.
For many years, CBS Sports Network carried as many as three Patriot League football games on the channel during the course of a season.
In 2015, however, that streak of nationally-televised Patriot League football games on the network seems like it will be coming to an end.
"Unless something major changes there will not be any through the Patriot League package this year," the Patriot League office told me.
It's hard to escape the deep feeling of disappointment I have in CBS Sports' decision to not televise any football games.
Over the years I've used the CBS Sports Network broadcasts to either watch Lehigh games or keep tabs on the other teams in the Patriot League. Just last year the network broadcast two critical Fordham games, one vs. Lafayette and one vs. Bucknell, and I watched them both.
I've always appreciated the games, as I have appreciated the other coverage the network has provided in men's and women's basketball and lacrosse.
But I feel this denial of football broadcast coverage hurts Patriot League football as a whole, denying people around the country the ability to easily set their DVRs to check out the best teams in the Patriot League. Whether FCS Top 25 voters will go the extra mile to log into CampusInsiders.com and watch the live streaming of multiple Patriot League football games I cannot say, but I am not very optimistic.
Instead of feeling like a celebration of renewing the relationship between CBS College Sports and the Patriot League, to me it instead feels like the end of an era.
The Patriot League's press release regarding the renewal of their TV contract is below.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League and CBS Sports Network announced Monday a multi-year television deal in which the Network will air Patriot League men's and women's basketball and men's lacrosse as well as a variety of other sports, extending their 13-year relationship.
The deal provides for a minimum of 24 total live events in each year of the agreement, and maintains the League's presence on CBS Sports Network for tournaments in men's basketball, women's basketball and men's lacrosse. CBS Sports Network will televise the semifinals and championship of the Patriot League Men's Basketball and Men's Lacrosse Tournaments as well as the championship game of the Women's Basketball Tournament.
"We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with CBS Sports Network," said Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich. "The multi-year deal provides an opportunity to showcase multiple Patriot League sports and student-athletes while maintaining a national television presence for our highest-profile League tournaments."
"We have had a long, successful partnership with the Patriot League and we are pleased to continue our relationship," said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. "This deal provides us the opportunity to showcase an exciting slate of regular and post-season action across a variety of sports throughout the year and continue highlighting the accomplished student athletes that make up the conference."
CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
The Patriot League continually demonstrates that student-athletes can excel at both academics and athletics without sacrificing its high standards. The Patriot League's athletic success is achieved while its member institutions remain committed to its founding principle of admitting and graduating student-athletes that are academically representative of their class. Participation in athletics at Patriot League institutions is viewed as an important component of a well-rounded education.