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More fans will have a chance to see Missouri and Kansas play basketball for the first time since 2012.
The schools originally announced that their Showdown for Relief exhibition men’s basketball game Sunday at the Sprint Center would only be broadcast on the Tigers’ and Jayhawks’ radio affiliates.
But those plans have changed. The two schools announced Friday a livestream video broadcast will be available on a pay-per-view basis for $40 at ShowdownForRelief.com. Money raised through pay-per-view sales will go to hurricane relief charities along with ticket proceeds.
Kansas City broadcaster Leif Lisec will do play-by-play and ESPN broadcasters Holly Rowe and Fran Fraschilla will be the sideline reporter and color commentator for the game, which tips off at 3 p.m. All three will donate their time for the broadcast.
The broadcast, which will be operated by Sidearm Sports, is a means around two athletic departments’ television broadcast rights agreements, which originally appeared as possible impediment to any livestream or television broadcast. Not broadcasting on television was also a way to ensure a sellout at the Sprint Center and raising the goal of $1 million for hurricane relief.
In addition to the livestream, the game broadcast will be archived through Monday for purchasers wishing to watch at a later time.
“Our first objective was to sell out Sprint Center,” the two schools said jointly in a release. “Once we achieved the sellout so quickly, our fans who could not get tickets expressed tremendous interest in having the game televised. We wanted to make sure that the charities we’ve identified would be the only entities to derive revenue from this game. Sidearm Sports has provided the platform to allow us to create a second stream of revenue via this telecast.”
Tickets to the game sold out on Tuesday minutes after they became available to students. No tickets went on sale to the general public through the Sprint Center, which would have happened had both schools not sold their allotment to students, Tiger Scholarship Fund and Williams Education Fund members.
Mizzou students were allowed to purchase two tickets each and KU students could buy one. Tiger Scholarship Fund and Williams Education Fund members were allowed to purchase up to 12 tickets each.
When asked at the men’s SEC Tipoff event Wednesday about whether this exhibition signaled the renewal of an annual rivalry game between the two teams, Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said that was not something he and Kansas coach Bill Self had discussed. But Martin made sure to mention the excitement he sensed from the Tigers’ fan base.
“Just the fact that the tickets sold out in a matter of minutes,” Martin said. “The energy is there.”
Martin, pointing out that both teams will have only had about two weeks of full practices by Sunday, said he did not “think either team will be clicking on all cylinders. To expect to see a team that you would probably see in December or January, I don’t think you’ll see anything like that.” He does expect his players to give a full effort and to try to win, he said. Self said players will be allowed seven fouls before fouling out.
“If you’re not from Missouri or Kansas, you don’t understand. I don’t blame them for that,” said Kevin Puryear, a Mizzou junior forward from Blue Springs. “For me it’s a pretty big deal. I don’t care if it’s an exhibition game or not. Especially when I thought those days were over with. I thought Illinois was our rivalry game.”
The money this game raises will go to the Houston Harvey Relief Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Florida Disaster Fund, Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the U.S. Virgin Islands.