The California Interscholastic Federation, which administers state championships in seven sports, signed a 15-year television deal last April that will pay it $8.5 million for the right to televise those events.
Time-Warner Cable bought the rights, with the first showcase being this weekend's regional football bowl games.
Though the CIF represents schools across California, its negotiations did not guarantee equality for all its schools.
Its pact allows the cable giant to show all five Southern California bowls, but doesn't require it to cover any of the Northern California bowls.
It means no TV for Central Catholic's Division 4 Bowl vs. McClymonds tonight and Saturday's D2 Bowl featuring Oakdale and Clayton Valley.
"Our footprint is Fresno to Southern California, so we're not in a position to broadcast Northern California games," Time-Warner spokeswoman Amy Summers said. "We just can't do much north of Fresno because we don't have a physical presence up there."
Summers said there are opportunities for regional cable systems to carry games, but those rights would have to be acquired from Time-Warner.
Comcast will televise Saturday's marquee game De La Salle vs. Folsom in the Open Bowl at Sacramento State but the other four are dark. Comcast acquired the rights to televise the battle of the unbeatens from Time-Warner.
"I can't discuss our negotiations with Comcast, or what Comcast paid for the rights to one game," Summers added.
When the CIF sold its rights to Time-Warner, the organization gets $550,000 this school year and an annual escalator clause of 4 percent; it sought no requirement that both regions receive equal coverage.
Rebecca Brutlag, a media relations officer with CIF, says her group has no authority or the desire to tell Time-Warner what events it will cover.
"If Time-Warner is electing not to cover a bowl game, that is a question for them," said Brutlag, noting the CIF didn't ask Time-Warner about its regional coverage plan. "Time-Warner is the cable company. We're not going to tell them how to run their business."
Yet many college and high school organizations do just that, requiring companies to broadcast less popular "Olympic" sports in order to obtain rights to revenue-generators like football and basketball.
When the CIF was negotiating its deal with Time-Warner, Summers said, it knew the company would not have a presence in Northern California. There were other parties interested in the rights, and they would have televised far more events, but none promised Time-Warner's windfall.
The CIF oversees 1,086 public and 403 private schools, with 1.9 million students and 736,727 student-athletes. It's budget is formed from corporate sponors, ticket revenue from championship events and school membership dues.
Its next regional activity is the basketball playoffs, with a twist that helped lure Time-Warner. The CIF has included an Open Division in Northern and Southern California.
The goal is for the top eight teams in each region, regardless of enrollment, to be put in one bracket. The winners would face off for the state title.
There is no word on whether Time-Warner will televise one region, both or neither.