NHRA Heads To Texas This Weekend

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

The Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series heads to the Lone Star State this weekend.

The Mello Yellow NHRA Drag Racing Series heads from the famed four-wide lanes of Z-Max Dragway to the Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas this weekend for the annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring National presented by Super Start Batteries. ESPN3 will carry qualifying live Friday, April 15th at 7:30pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at Noon. ESPN2 will rebroadcast qualifying Saturday, April 26th at 6pm and Final Eliminations Sunday, April 27th at 7pm.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro-Stock), and Andrew Hines all look to extend their leads in their respective division. Dave Rieff will have the call from the booth for this weekend’s races. He will be joined by Make Dunn for more insight on each matchup.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NHRA is available online at espn.go.comracing. 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.

NNS Back Under The Lights This Weekend At RIR

Courtesy:  NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

Courtesy: NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is back under the lights again this weekend.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will hit the track Friday night at Richmond International for the Toyotacare 250. JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliot currently leads teammate Regan Smith by thirteen points. He will look to extend that lead when he and the rest of the field take the green flag at 7:14pm ET on ESPNNEWS. NASCAR Countdown opens the night’s broadcast at 6:30pm ET on ESPNNEWS.  ESPN2 will carry live qualifying for Friday night’s race at 3:30pm ET.

Nicole Briscoe will anchor Saturday evening’s broadcast of NASCAR Countdown. Allen Bestwick will have lap-by-lap coverage of the race. He will be joined by analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree for all of the action.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar. 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 Early Neutral Site Broadcast Schedule For 2014 College Football Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week, the broadcast schedule for five neutral site college football games that will open the 2014 season. The network’s neutral site schedule kicks off Thursday, August 28th with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game featuring Boise State and Ole Miss on ESPN. It also includes games featuring five teams ranked in an early ESPN.com pre-season Top 25 poll for 2014. Those games will be broadcast Saturday, August 30th. ABC will carry two of those games in a double header featuring No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama. ESPN will carry a matchup of No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 13 LSU. And ESPN2 will carry No. 24 Central Florida’s game in Dublin, Ireland.

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s College Football Top 25 Pre-season poll can be viewed online at http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10414082/alabama-crimson-tide-win-recruiting-war-moves-latest-way-too-early-top-25.

ESPN’s 2014 season kicks off Saturday, August 23rd on ESPN’s new FCS Kickoff at 3:30pm ET on ESPN. It will feature a matchup of Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington. The network’s schedule ends with the new College Football Playoff Championship game live from Arlington, Texas on Monday, January 12th on ESPN. The current list of ESPN and ABC’s neutral site games is listed below. More games will be announced in the coming months.

2014 Neutral Site Schedule (as of April 16)

 

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 28 8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Boise State vs. Ole Miss ESPN
Sat, Aug 30 8:30 a.m. 2014 Croke Park Classic: Penn State vs. No. 24 Central Florida * ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama ABC and ESPN2
  8 p.m. Cowboys Classic: No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State ABC
  9 p.m. AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU ESPN

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 College Football Season in available online at http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN, http://espn.go.com/ncf/index and http://twitter.com/espncfb. 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.

NBA Playoffs Start This Weekend On ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NBA’s regular season is in the books. Now it’s on to the league’s second season.

Coverage of the 2014 NBA Playoffs begins Saturday, April 19th at 12:30pm ET with four opening round games. All four games are the first in their respective series. The Raptors host the Nets at 12:30pm ET on television on ESPN and online via WatchESPN. Next up is the Hawks/Pacers Game 1 at 7pm ET on ESPN and Watch ESPN. Game One between the Grizzlies and thunder rounds out the night with coverage expected to start at 9:30pm ET. Audiences will be able to catch Game One between the Warriors and Clippers at 3:30pm on television on ABC, on the radio through their local ESPN Radio affiliate, and online via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

Day Two of the NBA 2014 Playoffs starts at 3pm ET with NBA Countdown on ABC and WatchABC.  Game One between the Heat and Bobcats follows at 3:30pm ET on ABC, ESPN Radio, WatchABC, and ESPN3.  The complete Playoffs coverage schedule is available below.

Early schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Commentators

Network(s)

Sat, Apr. 19

12:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Gm.1

Dave Pasch, Jon Barry,

Chris Broussard

ESPN, WatchESPN

 

3 p.m.

NBA Countdown

Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins

ABC, WatchABC

 

3:30 p.m.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Gm. 1

Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters

ABC, ESPN Radio, WatchABC, ESPN3

 

7 p.m.

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers Gm. 1

Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Israel Gutierrez

ESPN, WatchESPN

 

9:30 p.m.

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Gm. 1

Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox

ESPN, WatchESPN

Sun, Apr. 20

3 p.m.

NBA Countdown

Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins

ABC, WatchABC

 

3:30 p.m.

Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat Gm. 1

Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters

ABC, ESPN Radio, WatchABC, ESPN3

Fri, Apr. 25

7 p.m.

Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets Gm. 3

TBD

ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

8 p.m.

Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Gm. 3

TBD

ESPN, WatchESPN

 

10:30 p.m.

Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Gm. 3

TBD

ESPN, WatchESPN

Sat, Apr. 26

7 p.m.

Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats Gm. 3

TBD

ESPN, WatchESPN

 

9:30 p.m.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies Gm. 4

TBD

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio

Sun, Apr. 27

12:30 p.m.

NBA Countdown

Sage Steele, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins

ABC, WatchABC, ESPN

 

1 p.m.

Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards Gm. 4

TBD

ABC, WatchABC, ESPN3

 

3:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Gm. 4

TBD

ABC, WatchABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3

Fri, May 2

TBD

Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats Gm. 6 (if necessary)

TBD

ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

TBD

Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets Gm. 6 (if necessary)

TBD

ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

TBD

San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Gm. 6 (if necessary)

TBD

ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

TBD

Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Gm. 6 (if necessary)

TBD

ESPN/ESPN2, WatchESPN

Sun, May 4

1 p.m.

TBD

 

ABC, WatchABC

 

3:30 p.m.

TBD

 

ABC, WatchABC, ESPN3

The 2014 NBA Playoffs will start and end exclusively on the ESPN family of networks, culminating with ABC’s exclusive coverage of The Finals beginning June 5th. More information on the ESPN family of networks’ NBA Playoffs coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.com/nba. 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.

Boxcino Tournament Semifinals Take Center Stage Tonight On FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The semifinal matchups in this year’s “Boxcino 2014” tournament take center stage tonight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra.

This Friday night on Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates, the Middleweights will take to the ring in the Boxcino 2014 tournament sponsored by 1800 Tequila. The card for the semifinal round is promoted by Banner Promotions. Tonight’s broadcast will air live at 9pm ET on television on ESPN2 and online via ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. It will come live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.  The broadcast will be aired via tape delay on ESPN Deportes at 10:30pm ET.

Todd Grisham will fill in for Joe Tessitore tonight at ringside. He will be joined by Tessitore’s regular ringside partner, Teddy Atlas. The pair will have the call for ESPN2. Doug Kezirian will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news while Grisham fills in for Tessitore. Delvin Rodriguez and Pablo Viruega will be ringside for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+. Leopoldo Gonzales and Claudia Trejos will be in studio and Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews for both broadcasts.

Tonight’s semifinal round of the Boxcino tournament will feature Vitalii Kopylenko (22 – 0, 12 KOs) and Willie Monroe, Jr. (16 – 1, 6 KOs) in one of the night’s bouts. In the night’s other fight, Raymond Gatica (16 – 5, 13 KOs) will face off against undefeated Brandon Adams (13 – 0, 9 KOs). Monroe comes into tonight’s bout on the heels of a six-round unanimous decision victory over Donatas Bondas (Bondorovas) in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. Kopylenko made his way into tonight’s semifinal bout courtesy of a second-round TKO win over Cerreso fort in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

Adams advanced to tonight’s card after a fourth round TKO over Daniel Edouard in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. Gatica made his way to the semis after a fourth round TKO win over Sena Agbeko in the quarters. The remaining schedule for the Boxcino tournament is available below.

Upcoming ESPN Boxing Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Thu, Apr 24

 

9 p.m.

 

Josesito López (31-6, 18 KOs) vs. Aron Martínez (19-2-1, 4 KOs)—10 rounds, Jr. Welterweights Agua Caliente Casino, Palm Springs, Calif. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

 

Thu, May 1

 

9 p.m.

 

Roberto García (34-3, 22 KOs) vs. Victor Manuel Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs)—10 rounds, Welterweights
Hialeah Park Race Track, Hialeah, Fla.

 

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

 

Sat, May 10 8 p.m. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) vs. Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs)—12 rounds USC Galen Center,
Los Angeles
ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

More information on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf, http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF, http://twitter.com/espnboxeo, and http://twitter.com/espnboxing. 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.

30 For 30: Soccer Stories Kicks Off April 15th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

April 15th is perhaps the single most hated day of the year every year. It is the deadline to file taxes on time. This year however, ESPN and ESPN Films are giving everyone reason to be happy on April 15th. That’s because ESPN Films will present the latest addition to its award-winning 30 for 30 film series as a reward for enduring tax day.

ESPN Films will present Hillsborough, the first in the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series, on April 15th at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Hillsborough examines what is the single worst sporting disaster in the history of the United Kingdom. The film examines the events in the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to the tragedy, which left ninety-six people dead and hundreds more injured at an FA Cup Semifinal matchup between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.

Hillsborough tells the story of the tragedy through first-hand accounts of fans in attendance and from police officers. Many of those that appeared on camera to share their stories did so for the first time since the horrific events of that day a quarter of a century ago. Many of those interviewed for Hillsborough are still seeking justice for their loved ones to this day.

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is a mix of feature-length films and 30-minute long documentary films promoting ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The series of films is presented by an award-winning group of filmmakers. It tells stories from around the world of soccer both from the United States and around the world. The complete schedule of films in ESPN Films’ is available online at http://es.pn/1aOGWre. More information on ESPN Films’ 30 for 30: Soccer Stories is available online at http://espn.go.com/30for30/soccer.

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.

ESPN2 To Air 2014 WNBA Draft Live April 14th

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN2 will present the 2014WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm Live next Monday, April 14th, 2014.

Monday’s WNBA Draft will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena , home of the Connecticut Sun. Round will be broadcast live at 8pm ET on ESPN2. The second and third rounds of the WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm will be broadcast online via ESPN3 from 9 – 10:30pm ET. Kevin Negandhi will anchor ESPN2’s coverage of the draft. Analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck will join him to add their own insight on the draft, as will reporter Holly Rowe.

Additional content will be offered across the ESPN platforms including SportsCenter and espnW.com.

The Connecticut Sun will have the top pick in the draft for the second consecutive year. The Sun will have a big crop of players from which to choose this year as top picks Chelsea Gray (Duke), Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), Meighan Simmons (Tennessee) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor) have all been named as top picks in this year’s draft. Also named among the most talked about names in this year’s draft are forwards Natalie Achonwa (Notre Dame), Natasha Howard (Florida State), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), and centers Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut) and Markeisha Gatling (NC State). The draft order in the WNBA Draft is chosen through the WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm.

Tulsa holds the second pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, followed by the San Antonio Stars, New York Liberty, and Indiana Fever.

More information on this year’s WNBA Draft presented by State Farm is available online at http://espnW.com, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, http://www.facebook.com/wnba, and http://www.wnba.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.

UConn/Notre Dame Ratings Best For Any ESPN Women’s College Basketball Broadcast In A Decade

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship has given ESPN its best ratings for a broadcast of women’s college basketball in a decade. This announcement came Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s broadcast of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship between the UConn Huskies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish gave ESPN a 2.8 US Rating. That is the highest rating for any women’s college basketball broadcast in a decade. It is the highest for women’s college basketball since the Huskies defeated Tennessee for the women’s NCAA Division I title in 2004. That game pulled in a 3.5 US Rating.

In terms of total numbers, Tuesday night’s broadcast averaged 3.21 million households and 4.27 viewers (P2+). That is fourth and sixth respectively since ESPN started broadcasting the NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball Championship in1996. This year’s 2.8 rating represents an increase in viewership of forty percent over last year’s 2.0 for UConn’s championship matchup against Louisville.

ESPN made big marks both on television and online thanks to its broadcast of the UConn/Notre Dame matchup Tuesday night. Over 100,000 people watched the game on WatchESPN and ESPN3’s special Surround production of the game. This generated 3,800,000 minutes on the game. Both the 100,000 viewers and the total minutes are all-time highs for a women’s college basketball game. Even better for ESPN, Tuesday’s game generated the most minutes viewed for an ESPN3 Surround production to date.

The Hartford/New Haven market led the way among metered markets with a 29.3 rating. That is the highest overnight for any cable broadcast so far this year. Nashville, the site of the championship, came in second overnight with a 6.8. Knoxville came in third with a 6.0, followed by Louisville (5.5), Indianapolis (4.8), Raleigh-Durham (4.7), Providence (4.6), new York (4.6), Memphis (4.5), and Greenville (4.5).

More information on Tuesday’s broadcast and all ESPN coverage of NCAA Women’s Basketball is available online at http://espnW.com, http://www.facebook.com/espnW, http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegebasketball, and http://espn.go.com/womens-basketball. 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 Releases 2014 Preseason NFL Coverage Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week that it will broadcast two NFL preseason games as part of the network’s 2014 Monday Night Football schedule. The first of the two games will see the Jacksonville Jaguars taking on Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. That game is scheduled to take place Thursday, August 14th, 2014. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET. The Browns will be on the road the following Monday, August 18th, visiting RG3 and the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Despite being a preseason game, it will be a pivotal matchup as it will be a battle of first-year head coaches. Jay Gruden, who left Cincinnati to take the helm in Washington, will lead the Redskins against Mike Pettine in his first ever game as a head coach in this game.

Mike Tirico and Gruden’s brother Jon will have the call for both games. They will be joined by reporter Lisa Salters. Both games will be preceded by a one-hour edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pregame show.

ESPN Deportes will carry both preseason games as well as regular season games. All games broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes will also be available online via tablets and computers via WatchESPN.

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online at http://espn.go.com/nfl. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news reviews, go online to htt://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.

NHRA Going Four Wide This Weekend

Courtesy:  NHRA

Courtesy: NHRA

The NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series is going four-wide this weekend.

Drag Racing’s top series will be at the famed ZMax Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend for the NHRA 4Wide Nationals. The annual 4Wide Nationals is the one time each season that the NHRA sends four cars down the track at one time.  John Force Racing driver Robert Hight comes in to this weekend’s atop the Funny Car standings with his car owner John Force nine points back in second. Doug Kalitta leads the Top Fuel standings. Antron Brown, Kalitta’s closest competition right now, is a staggering seventy-three points back in second in that division. Erica Enders-Stevens leads the Pro-Stock division fifteen points ahead of Jason Line. And in the Pro-Stock Motorcycle division, Steve Johnson comes into this weekend’s event twenty-one points ahead of Scott Pollacheck.

ESPN2 and ESPN3 will have all of the weekend’s coverage beginning with live qualifying Friday afternoon at 4:15pm on ESPN3. Qualifying will be re-broadcast Saturday night on ESPN2at 9pm ET. Final eliminations will be broadcast live online on ESPN3 Sunday, April 13th at 12pm ET. ESPN2 will carry the television re-broadcast of Final Eliminations Sunday night at 8pm ET. Dave Rieff will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined by analyst Mike Dunn for all of the weekend’s action.

More information on this weekend’s events is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing and http://www.nhra.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.