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Nov 30, 2011 10:18 AM by KTVQ | MTN Sports

ESPN to broadcast Cat and Griz games

BILLINGS - After a week of Montana football fans bombarding ESPN with calls and emails, and Montana's congressional delegation putting pressure on the sports mega-giant, the network has decided to air the University of Montana and Montana State football playoff games on television.

The second round playoff games will air via cable and satellite nationwide through ESPN GamePlan for a suggested retail price of $24.60 in addition to its previously announced carriage on ESPN3 on Saturday December 3rd.

According to ESPN, the best way to order ESPNGamePlan is to call your satelite or cable provider.

The week long dispute over how Montanan's would be able to watch the Cats and Griz play on Saturday went to the top of the company with broadcast rights for the games.

The news about the games airing broke via email entitled: BAUCUS, TESTER SECURE COMMITMENT FROM ESPN TO AIR NCAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS ON CABLE TELEVISION

"The Cats and the Griz bring such a strong tradition to our communities. I'm thrilled ESPN understands this is the right thing for Montana, and am proud of all the Montanans who came together in support of our Montana teams," Baucus said.

There is speculation Senator Max Baucus contacted Walt Disney Co. President and Chief Executive Robert Iger and asked his help to come up with a plan to include more Montanans.

Iger attended the Montana Economic Summit at Baucus' invitation in Butte in September 2010-Iger's relationship with Baucus may have tipped the scale toward putting the games on ESPN GamePlan.

Senator Tester also gave credit to the thousands of Montana fans who voiced concerns to ESPN over the past week.

"ESPN made the right call for Montana, and I appreciate them listening to the thousands of fans who rallied in support of Montana football," Tester said. "This is a victory that belongs to all Montanans, and it's a testament to the power of uniting for a common goal."

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