ESPN Releases Preliminary Big Ten Football Schedule For SNF Broadcasts

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has released the current 2014 Big Ten Football schedule for its weekly Saturday Night Football schedule.

This season’s Big Ten Saturday Night Football schedule opens with a matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, September 6th. The game is scheduled for an 8pm ET start time. The Buckeyes were ranked number seven overall in an ESPN pre-season poll. The current schedule has one of the biggest matches in college football on Saturday, November 8th with Ohio State facing off against The Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes last year 34-24 in the Big Ten Championship. That game is schedule for an 8pm ET start time.

Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will have the call for the matchup between the Hokies and Buckeyes on September 6th. The current schedule of games includes coverage across the ESPN family of networks each week. It is listed below.

2014 Big Ten Schedule on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 (as of July 10)

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sat, Sep 6 8 p.m. Virginia Tech at No. 7 Ohio State ESPN
Sat, Sep 20 8 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at Nebraska ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Oct 4 8 p.m. Nebraska at No. 4 Michigan State ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Oct 11 7 p.m. Penn State at No. 21 Michigan ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Oct 25 8 p.m. No. 7 Ohio State at Penn State ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Nov 1 8 p.m. Illinois at No. 7 Ohio State ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Nov 8 8 p.m. No. 7 Ohio State at No. 4 Michigan State ABC

More additions to this schedule are expected. Fans can keep up with the latest updates on ESPN’s Big Ten Football coverage schedule online at http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN, http://twitter.com/espncfb, and http://espn.go.com/ncf/index. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Family of Networks Will Carry Entire NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will carry the entire NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One tips off this Saturday, March 22nd.  It all starts with a matchup between No. 15 Winthrop and No. 2 Duke in Durham, North Carolina.  Coverage of the game is scheduled for an 11am ET start time.  The game will be broadcast on television on ESPN2 and online on ESPN3 via WatchESPN.

The majority of the tournament’s first and second-round games will be televised on ESPN2.  There are two exceptions to that rule.  The exceptions in question are the Sunday 3pm ET and 5:30pm ET window.  The games broadcast on ESPN2 will be broadcast in twelve regionalized windows with home market protection.  ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court, ESPN’s pay-per-view package, will offer full coverage of the tournament as an addition to the tournament’s regional coverage.  The tournament’s final fifteen games will be carried on ESPN and ESPN2.  It all leads up to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game on Tuesday, April 8th at 8:30pm ET on ESPN.  The championship game will be broadcast live from Nashville, Tennessee.

Audiences can get even more coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship across ESPN’s family of networks and online, including espnW.com, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, and ESPN International.  More information on coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Capital One is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegeBasketball, http://espn.go.com/womens-basketball, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, and http://espnW.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN To Debut New NFL Mini-Series April 22nd

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

It’s only March.  But as any sports fan knows, it’s always football season.  In keeping with that understanding, ESPN announced this week, that it will debut a new four-week series focused on the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft this Spring in anticipation of the upcoming NFL season.

ESPN Draft Academy will debut Tuesday, April 22nd at 10pm ET on ESPN.  The four-week series follows this year’s crop of NFL hopefuls as they prepare for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, their individual Pro Days, and the upcoming NFL Draft.  The mini-series will focus on Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), Marqise Lee (USC), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood (Mo.) University) and Bishop Sankey (University of Washington).  Each episode runs one hour and will follow Jon Grudens QB Camp.

Matthew Volk, ESPN Director of Programming and Acquisitions, explained the premise of the mini-series in speaking with the media.  “Draft Academy follows some of the most talented, talked-about prospects as they train in pursuit of a top spot in the 2014 NFL Draft,” he said.  “The show will give fans an intimate look at these players as they pursue their goals of making it to the NFL.”

More information on ESPN’s Draft Academy is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN, DISH Sign New Multi-Year SEC Network Broadcast Deal

Courtesy:  ESPN/SEC Network/DISH

Courtesy: ESPN/SEC Network/DISH

A new deal between ESPN and DISH has given DISH carriage rights to the fledgling SEC network when the multiplatform network launches this Summer.

DISH will begin carrying the SEC Network beginning August 14th, 2014.  The announced deal is just one part of a much larger groundbreaking deal signed this week between DISH and The Walt Disney Company.  It makes DISH the first nationwide television provider for the SEC Network.  The multiplatform deal includes coverage of over one thousand live events in just its first year.  That number includes no fewer than forty-five exclusive SEC football games, over one hundred men’s basketball games, sixty women’s basketball games, seventy-five baseball games, fifty softball games, and even more events throughout the SEC’s twenty-one different sports.

As with the deal giving DISH broadcast rights for the Longhorn Network, this deal will see the SEC Network added to DISH America’s Top120+ and higher packages nationwide.  Those that add the SEC Network to their satellite package will also have access to the network’s digital platform.  That will allow audiences access to SEC Network content at home and on the go via computers and mobile web.

Terms of the deal partner ESPN and the SEC through 2034.  Dave Shull, DISH Executive VP and CCO, spoke on behalf of the network in an interview about the deal.  “Few fan bases rival the passion and loyalty of the SEC, and DISH is proud to be the first nationwide television provider of the SEC Network,” he said.  “We strive to give our customers and consumers what they want, and there’s no better place for the college sports fan than with DISH.”

Justin Connolly, ESPN Senior VP of College Networks, expanded on Shull’s comments explaining just how important the deal is to ESPN and DISH. “This agreement provides DISH customers nationwide with access to every SEC college football game this fall and an unparalleled fan experience of more SEC content than ever before,” he said.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive also spoke with reporters after the groundbreaking deal was signed and sealed.  He expressed to reporters the importance of the deal not only for the SEC, but also for fans of SEC athletics.  “This is an important day for the SEC Network,” he said.  “We are pleased to welcome DISH to the SEC family. More than five months ahead of the network launch, it’s exciting to have a national distributor and our first satellite provider onboard. Now SEC fans from across the country have another way to show their conference pride and sign up to get the SEC Network.”

DISH customers can find out later this year where they can find the SEC network on their carrier online at http://www.dish.com.  More information on this deal and more from ESPN is available online at http://espn.go.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN, DISH Reach New Deal For Longhorn Network Broadcast Rights

Longhorn Network - February 28, 2014

Courtesy: ESPN/DISH/Longhorn Network

Fans of the Texas Longhorns have another reason to be happy this morning.  That’s because a new deal between ESPN and Dish Network will allow DISH to carry the Longhorn Network to fans across the country.  It’s just one part of a much bigger deal announced this week between DISH and the Walt Disney company.  The new deal between ESPN and DISH more than doubles LHN’s national distribution.  According to terms of the deal, The Longhorn Network will be available to DISH customers on the America’s Top 120+ and higher packages beginning later this Summer.    Audiences will be able to get information on where LHN will be on their carrier later this year online at http://www.dish.com.

The expanded television coverage of the Longhorn Network is just one positive of the new deal between DISH and ESPN.  LHN fans that receive the network as part of their satellite service will also be able to get live coverage online at home and via mobile internet on their computers and iOS devices.

Justin Connolly, Senior VP of college networks, was positive in his comments about the announcement.  “This agreement with DISH presents a tremendous opportunity to bring Longhorn Network’s robust content offerings to Texas fans across the country,” he said.

ESPN’s deal with UT to broadcast the Longhorn Network, which originally debuted in 2011, lasts for twenty years.  Steve Patterson, University of Texas Athletics Director, shared his thoughts on the extended agreement and other topics in an interview.  “We are excited to have DISH join the growing list of LHN providers,” he said.  “UT fans nationwide will now have access to this award-winning network that does such a great job in covering our university’s sports and academics programs. As we have said from day one, this is a long-term commitment and we are very proud of our partnership with ESPN.”

Dave Shull, DISH Executive VP and CCO also shared his thoughts on the brand new deal.  “DISH is the best place for college sports fans to follow the teams they love,” he said.  “ESPN has a long tradition of delivering the best in sports, and we are proud to be the first nationwide television provider of the Longhorn Network.”

More information on this new deal between ESPN and DISH is available online at http://espn.go.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp Returns This Spring

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will return this Spring.

Gruden’s series of SportsCenter specials will return this spring for its fifth season.  Gruden mentors a handful of college football’s top quarterbacks in the series, as they prepare to take the next step in their careers.  This year’s installment of Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will see nine of college football’s top quarterback prospects.  Those names include the likes of 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, two-time BCS National Champion A.J. McCarron of Alabama, and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.  The complete list of this year’s “QB Camp” participants is noted below.

2014 Gruden’s QB Camp participants:

Quarterback

School

Blake Bortles

Central Florida

Tajh Boyd

Clemson

Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville

Derek Carr

Fresno

Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois

Jordan Lynch

Northern Illinois

A.J. McCarron

Alabama

Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M

Aaron Murray

Georgia

 

Gruden prepares a specialized lesson plan of sorts for each of the participants in his “QB Camp.”  Through his specialized plan, he points out to each prospect, a balanced look at both their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to see where they need to improve in order to be successful NFL talent.  Over the past four seasons of his “QB Camp” Gruden has mentored no fewer than twenty-nine quarterbacks from twenty-seven schools.  Fourteen of those QBs went on to be NFL regular season starters.  Among the names that Gruden has mentored through his series are: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and current NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks.

Gruden’s “QB Camp” moves this year to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena at Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando.  It replaces Gruden’s Tampa office, where the “QB Camp” was previously held.  The new set will replicate his Tampa office, playfully dubbed the “Fired Football Coaches Association.”  The 220-acre facility also includes athletic fields, which will be used for quarterback workouts.

More information on Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” and all things NFL is available online now at http://espn.go.com/nfl and http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Biggest Broadcast Schedule Ever For 2014 College Softball Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced today, its broadcast coverage schedule for the 2014 college softball season.  This season’s broadcast schedule is the most expansive from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.  This season, audiences will be able to catch no fewer than forty regular season college softball games across the ESPN family of networks.  Another forty will be broadcast on ESPN3 later this season.  Those games will be announced at a later date.  Also included in this year’s broadcast schedule will be no fewer than five college softball championships and the entire SEC tournament.  The championship matches scheduled to be broadcast will be for the SEC, ACC, Big South, SWAC, and AAC conference titles.  It all begins with preseason Number 1 Tennessee hosting South Carolina on Sunday, March 23rd at 2:30pm on ESPNU.

The end of the regular season doesn’t mean the end of ESPN’s coverage of college softball.  ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will have regional round coverage, full coverage of the super regionals, and NCAA Women’s World Series.

The number of college softball games covered this year by ESPN and the ESPN family of networks is just one landmark.  Among that total eighty games to be broadcast, the ESPN family of networks will also carry a record seventeen matchups featuring two ranked teams.  This includes a matchup of #10 Texas at #2 Oklahoma on Thursday, April 17th on ESPN2.  The Sooners will also be on the road Saturday, April 12th to face #16 Baylor. That game will be broadcast on ESPN.  Along with its matchup against the Gamecocks, ESPN is scheduled to carry The Volunteers’ matchups against #11 Texas A&M on Friday, April 11th and Sunday, April 13th.

Twelve of the eighty total games scheduled to air across the ESPN family of networks will feature a top five team in the ESPN.com/USA preseason Top 25 games.  Twenty-seven of the games will feature an overall ranked team.

If the number of games scheduled to be broadcast and the teams to be featured isn’t enough for audiences, the staff of analysts set to cover the games will impress viewers.  Each analyst—Jessica Mendoza, Jennie Finch, Amanda Scarborough, Cheri Kempf, and Michele Smith—is a multi-time collegiate All-American.  Three of the analysts—Finch, Mendoza, and Smith—combine for six total Olympic medals, including four gold.  Joining the staff for play-by-play commentary will be Beth Mowins, Pam Ward, Cara Capuano, Adam Amin, Holly Rowe, and Mark Neely.  The current schedule of college softball games to be broadcast across the ESPN family of networks is listed below.  Dates are subject to change.

2014 ESPN NCAA Softball Television Schedule (subject to change)

 

Date Time Matchup Network
Sun, March 23 2:30 p.m. South Carolina vs. #1 Tennessee ESPNU
  7 p.m. #10 Texas at #16 Baylor ESPNU
Mon, March 31 6 p.m. # 12 Florida State at UNC ESPNU
Fri, April 4 9 p.m. Arkansas at #6 Alabama ESPNU
Sat, April 5 5 p.m. Auburn at #3 Florida ESPNU
Sun, April 6 3 p.m. Arkansas at #6 Alabama ESPN
Thu, April 10 11 p.m. #5 Washington at #20 Stanford ESPNU
Fri, April 11 8 p.m. #1 Tennessee at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sat, April 12 3 p.m. #2 Oklahoma at #16 Baylor ESPN
Sat, April 12 10 p.m. #5 Washington at #20 Stanford ESPN2
Sun, April 13 1 p.m. #1 Tennessee at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Mon, April 14 7 p.m. #12 Florida State at Notre Dame ESPNU
Wed, April 16 7 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
Thu, April 17 9 p.m. #10 Texas at # 2 Oklahoma ESPN2
Fri, April 18 8 p.m. #3 Florida at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sat, April 19 4 p.m. #19 LSU at South Carolina ESPNU
  6 p.m. #3 Florida at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sun, April 20 3 p.m. Syracuse at #12 Florida State ESPNU
Thu, April 24 8 p.m. #21 Georgia at # 6 Alabama ESPN
Fri, April 25 10 p.m. # 8 Oregon at #20 Stanford ESPNU
Sat, April 26 12 p.m. #21 Georgia at # 6 Alabama ESPNU
Mon, April 28 7 p.m. Maryland at Notre Dame ESPNU
Thu, May 1 8 p.m. # 6 Alabama at # 17 Missouri ESPN
Sat, May 3 2 p.m. # 6 Alabama at # 17 Missouri ESPNU
  4 p.m. # 14 Kentucky at #21 Georgia ESPNU
  6 p.m. #20 Stanford at #13 UCLA ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. #3 Florida at Arkansas ESPN
Sun, May 4 1 p.m. #3 Florida at Arkansas ESPN
  3 p.m. #20 Stanford at #13 UCLA ESPN

 

2014 ESPN NCAA Conference Championship (subject to change)

Wed, May 7 4 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Play-In Game No. 1 ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Play-In Game No. 2 ESPNU
Thu, May 8 11 a.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 1 ESPNU
  1:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 2 ESPNU
  4 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 3 ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 4 ESPNU
Fri, May 9 3 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Semifinal No. 1 ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Semifinal No. 2 ESPNU
Sat, May 10 2 p.m. ACC Softball Tournament – Championship ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. American Softball Tournament – Championship ESPNEWS
  8 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Championship ESPN2
  10 p.m. SWAC Softball Tournament – Championship* ESPNU
Sun, May 11 Noon Big South Softball Tournament – Championship ESPNU

*Live on ESPN 3 at 3:00 p.m.; taped delayed on ESPNU

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks coverage of the 2014 college softball season is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/espn.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.