ESPN, CFL Reach New Multi-Year Broadcast Deal

Courtesy:  CFL/TSN/ESPN

Courtesy: CFL/TSN/ESPN

ESPN made a big announcement this week for all of the football fans out there.

ESPN announced that it will offer extensive coverage of the 2015 CFL schedule this season. It all begins this weekend with a matchup of the BC Lions and the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders. The two teams will face off Friday, June 12th on 9:30pm ET on ESPN3. The game is just one of sixty-nine games that will be carried on ESPN3. Along with those games, ESPN2 will carry twenty CFL games beginning June 25th at 7:30pm ET as the Montreal Alouettes host the Ottawa Redblacks. Michael Sam, the SEC 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, will make his CFL debut with the Alouettes in the game. The matchup will be played at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.

Between its coverage online and on television, ESPN and the ESPN networks will carry a total of eighty-nine CFL games. The broadcast schedule is part of a multi-year deal between ESPN and the CFL that gives ESPN exclusive rights to air the CFL’s games in the United States. The broadcasts will utilize the on-air and behind-the-scenes teams from TSN, Canada’s Sports Leader. The complete television schedule for the 2015 CFL season will be announced soon. The latest schedule of games to be broadcast online via ESPN3 is listed below.

ESPN’s 2015 CFL Preseason Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, Jun 12 9:30 p.m. BC Lions vs. Calgary Stampeders ESPN3
Sat, Jun 13 10 p.m. Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos ESPN3
Thu, Jun 18 7:30 p.m. Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal Alouettes ESPN3

*Schedule subject to change.

More information on the CFL’s 2015 season is available online now along with all of the latest CFL news and headlines at:

Website: http://tsn.ca/cfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFL

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CFL

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Events To Debut New College Football Bowl Game This Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

College football teams across the country will have yet another bowl to vie for when the 2015 – 2016 season kicks off this fall.

ESPN Events announced today that it will debut the Celebration Bowl this season. The game, which will debut Saturday, December 19th, is meant to pay tribute to the legacy and values of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The matchup will see the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champion take on the champion of the Southwest Athletic Conference. Pete Derzis, Senior VP of ESPN Events discussed the announcement with the press saying, “We could not be more pleased to have the Celebration Bowl kicking off the college football bowl season on ABC.” He went on to add the expectations for the inaugural game saying, “Not only will the first annual Celebration Bowl deliver a first-class postseason experience to the teams, their fans and their alumni; the live telecast on ABC will bring the thrill and pageantry of the bowl to fans across the nation.”

Both conferences’ commissioner also shared their thoughts on the upcoming game. Dennis Thomas, Commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, was optimistic for the game’s debut and appreciative for ESPN’s continued dedication to both conferences. “We are excited about today’s announcement that the Celebration Bowl will be telecast on ABC,” he said. “We are eagerly looking forward to participating in this wonderful opportunity to showcase our student-athletes, coaches, institutions and our conference on this national stage. We are appreciative to ESPN for their continued partnership and commitment to this postseason experience.”

SWAC head Duer Sharp was just as positive in his remarks about the game saying, “The SWAC is excited about the announcement of the inaugural Celebration Bowl being televised on ABC. This stage will provide the nation with a front-row seat into the passion, pride and heritage of the SWAC and HBCU football. Our coaches, student-athletes and SWAC fans across the nation look forward to meeting in ATL on December 19.” He also spoke on behalf of the SWAC in noting the conference’s appreciation for ESPN’s support of both the SWAC and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference saying “The SWAC appreciates ESPN and their family of networks for their continued support and for providing our fans and student athletes the opportunity to perform on this national platform.”

John Grant is CEO of the organization 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. He expressed his thoughts on what the game means to the city of Atlanta since the game will be played in the Georgia Dome and what it means for America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “We are excited to collaborate with ESPN to launch the Celebration Bowl and continue our longstanding tradition of delivering an annual HBCU college football showdown to fans in Atlanta,” he said. “Having the game televised on ABC will showcase the best in HBCU football on a national stage.”

More information on the inaugural Celebration Bowl is available online now along with all of the latest news from ESPN Events online at:

Website: http://www.espnevents.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNEvents

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Vitale Sticking With ESPN Through 2017 – 2018 Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Good news for basketball fans everywhere. Dick Vitale has signed a new contract with the worldwide leader in sports.

Officials with ESPN announced today that basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale has come to terms with the network on a new deal. The deal in question will keep Vitale with ESPN at least through the 2017 – 2018 basketball season. It will mark Vitale’s 39th season with ESPN. It also means that Vitale will continue to call some of the ESPN networks’ biggest basketball matchups for the foreseeable future. This includes regular-season games on ESPN and ESPN2, and the men’s Final Four on ESPN International.

John Wildhack, Executive VP of Production and Programming for ESPN noted Vitale’s love for basketball, his standout personality and his ability to connect with basketball fans thanks to both factors in signing the new deal saying, “Dick continues to connect with fans by demonstrating an incredibly successful combination of exuberance for and knowledge of the game he loves. He is a one-of-a-kind personality and the passion he brings to everything he is involved with continues to have an enormous impact.”

The deal having been completely finalized, Vitale shared his thoughts about being with the network over the years and what being part of the Worldwide Leader in Sports means to him, saying, “I am so proud to be part of the ESPN team. They have become my second family and have been a vital part of my life. It has been nothing but pure happiness working with the beautiful people at ESPN and I can’t thank them enough as they’ve been responsible for so many of the glorious days I’ve had in my life.”

Over the course of his time at ESPN, Vitale has earned quite the positive reputation. He was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. He has also been awarded for his efforts with the American Cancer Society, The National Association of Basketball Coaches (Court of Honor Award), and Seton Hall University (Humanitarian Award). His work as a board member on The V Foundation for Cancer Research has garnered him respect among his counterparts throughout the sports world as have his efforts with the Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many other organizations.

Vitale’s debut season on ESPN was the 1979 – 1980 season. That was just after ESPN’s debut season. From there, he went on to call ESPN’s first-ever NCAA basketball game. Wisconsin and DePaul faced off in that game with DePaul defeating Wisconsin 90 – 77. Throughout the years his play calling has become just part of why audiences have come to love him. His catch phrases (E.g. “Awesome, baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!,” “PTP’er”) have become a part of his legacy. Off the court, Vitale has authored nine books and selected for nine halls of fame. Before joining ESPN, Vitale started his professional career teaching at Mark Twain Elementary School in Garfield, New Jersey and coaching middle school football and basketball. He coached at the high school level for eight years beginning in 1963. In 1970 he moved to the college ranks, working at both Rutgers and The University of Detroit. In May of 1978 he took the helm of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. It was from there that he eventually moved on to join ESPN in 1979.

More information on Vitale’s new deal is available online now along with all of the latest basketball news at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Heads West Again This Weekend For SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell continues its western swing this weekend as the worldwide leader in sports brings audiences a matchup of the Cardinals and Dodgers.

Sunday’s broadcast is the closer in a four-game series between the National League foes. Clayton Kershaw is currently scheduled to take the mound for Los Angeles as it hosts the Cardinals. Kershaw last took the mound Monday night against the Rockies. He pitched 7 innings in the Dodgers’ 11 – 4 shellacking of Colorado, allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk and striking out 7 batters along the way. Currently there is no word on who will take the mound for St. Louis in the game.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Mark Mulder and John Kruk. Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for the latest news and updates throughout the game. Sunday’s broadcast is scheduled for an 8pm ET start time. It will preceded at 7pm ET by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast and will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

Before heading back out west this weekend, the worldwide leader in sports will bring audiences the closer between the Dodgers and Rockies in the teams’ 4-game series on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball. Mike Bolsinger is expected to get the start for the Dodgers in the game. Currently there are no details on who will get the start for Colorado. Bolsinger’s last time on the mound was this past Friday against St. Louis. Bolsinger pitched 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 3, walks, and struck out 3 in the Dodgers’ 3 – 0 loss to the Cardinals. Jon Sciambi will have the call for Wednesday night’s game. He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville, and studio analysts Eric Wedge and Eduardo Perez for the broadcast. the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 8pm ET. Along with its broadcast on ESPN, ESPN Deportes will also carry the game live for ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences. Audiences that won’t be close to a TV tomorrow night can still catch the game live online via WatchESPN. More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dwayne Wade To Appear On Select NBA Countdown Broadcasts

Courtesy: ABC/ESPN/NBA

Courtesy: ABC/ESPN/NBA

ABC has added a big name to its NBA Countdown pre-game broadcast team for this year’s playoff series between the Cavs and Warriors.

ABC announced today that it has added Dwayne Wade to its team for its NBA Countdown pre-game show. Wade, a former teammate to LeBron James, will join host Sage Steel and analysts Jalen Rose and Doug Collins on NBA Countdown ahead of Game 2 and 3 of this year’s playoff series. Should things stay tight enough, Wade will also be on hand for ABC’s pre-game broadcast ahead of Game 6 and 7. Dwayne Wade holds three NBA Championships, was the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, has made 11-appearances at the NBA All-Star Game, and helped Team USA earn gold at the 2008 Olympics.

NBA Countdown airs half an hour before each playoff game and will broadcast live before each game of the NBA Playoffs. More information on ABC’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs is available online now at:

Website: http://abcnews.go.com/sports

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abcnewsSport

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ESPN Adds Reds, Cubs Matchup To Its SNB Broadcast Schedule

MLB-on-ESPN_2012

ESPN announced the latest addition to its weekly Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast schedule this week. On June 14th, ESPN’s flagship baseball broadcast will come live from Chicago as the Cubs host the Reds in an NL Central showdown.

ESPN’s June 14th broadcast will be the closer for the teams’ four-game series, which kicks off Thursday, June 11th. Details for each team’s starting lineup will be released soon. Cincinnati (21 – 27) just finished a three-game sweep of the NL East-leading Washington Nationals on Sunday going 8 – 2 against the Nats. Cincinnati won Friday’s game 5 – 2 and went 8 -5 on Saturday. Cincinnati’s win today came courtesy of a 6-run deluge from the Reds in the 7th inning after a relatively quiet day on both sides of the bat. Before that, Washington had only allowed 2 total runs from Cincinnati. One came in the 4th and the other in the 5th. The Nats’ bullpen struggled in Sunday’s game, with starter Tanner Rourke allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 2 home runs, and 2 walks in 6 innings pitched. He struck out only 1 batter along the way. Things weren’t much better for the rest of Washington’s bullpen as Matt Grace and Aaron Barrett combined to allow a total of 6 runs, 5 hits, and 6 earned runs. Grace also allowed 2 walks in his time on the mound before being pulled. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati starter Michael Lorenzen had a slightly better day, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 4 over 6 innings. He had his share of struggles, though. He walked 6 batters, allowed 2 runs, and 2 earned runs over that span of time.

There’s no time to rest for Washington as it prepares for a 7-game home stand beginning Monday night with a three-game series against the Miwaukee Brewers. That series will be followed up by a 4-game series against the Cubs. The Reds only get a day to rest on Monday before hitting the road again on Tuesday, this time to face the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game series in the city of brotherly love. After that, it’s back home for a three-game home-stand against San Diego and then another three-game run against Philadelphia at Great American Ballpark before that long 4-game stretch against the Cubs, which will lead up to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast on the 14th that will see that series’ final game.

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN (L – R) Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Curt Schilling

Dan Shulman will have the call for the June 14th broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk. Buster Olney will also be on hand during the game for additional coverage. Those not near a TV during the game can catch it on their local ESPN Radio affiliate. Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call for ESPN Radio. Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet will precede Sunday night’s game. It will air at 7pm ET on ESPN with Karl Ravech anchoring the broadcast. He will be joined by analyst Aaron Boone and reporters Tim Kurkjian and Nicole Briscoe. There’s lots of other action on the diamond in the weeks leading up to that June 14th broadcast including the the Cardinals on the road against the Dodgers on June 7th and the Angels hosting the Tigers tonight, May 31st. The current broadcast schedule, for those that would like to know, of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is listed below.

Sunday Night Baseball upcoming schedule:

Date Game

May 31 Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim presented by Taco Bell

June 7 St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers presented by Taco Bell

June 14 Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs presented by Taco Bell

June 21 San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers presented by Taco Bell

June 28 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals presented by Taco Bell

July 5 TBD

July 12 St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates presented by Taco Bell

July 19 Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim presented by Taco Bell

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB news at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Heads West For This Weekend’s Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast

MLB-on-ESPN_2012

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball is headed west this weekend for its weekly MLB broadcast.

This week’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Los Angeles for an American League showdown between the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers. Sunday’s game is the closer for the teams’ 4-game series, which kicked off Thursday. The game will air live on ESPN2. The Angels dominated Detroit in the game 12 – 2 with C.J. Wilson being credited with the win for the Angels. Wilson pitched 6 innings allowing only 2 hits, 1 earned run, 5 walks, and struck out 7 batters. On the other side of the ball, Detroit’s Buck Farmer was on the mound. He pitched 5 innings, allowing 9 hits, 7 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 1 batter. Matt Shoemaker is expected to take the mound for the Angels in Sunday night’s game. He last took the mound this past Tuesday against the Padres, pitching seven innings, allowing 4 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, and striking out 6 batters. Shoemaker is 3 – 4 so far this season with 51 innings pitched, 48 strikeouts, and a WHIP average of 1.17. David Price is expected to take the mound for Detroit. His last game was this past Tuesday against Oakland. He pitched 7 innings in that game, allowing 5 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 3 batters.

Currently, the Tigers sit in 3rd in the AL Central 1 ½ games back from division leader Kansas City. Detroit is 5 – 5 in its last ten games and is only slightly better on the road than at home going 14 – 9 on the road and 14 – 12 at home. Los Angeles is currently at .500 (24 – 24) at the time of this post. The team is also 5 – 5 in its last ten games and is better at home than on the road going 12 – 11 at home and 12 – 13 on the road.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk in the booth. Reporter Buster Olney will be on the field with more insight into the night’s featured game. The game will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

Monday night on Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA, the currently league-leading St. Louis Cardinals will host the struggling Milwaukee Brewers for the first of a three-game series between the teams. Jaime Garcia is expected to start for the Cardinals Monday night. His last time on the mound was this past Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. He was credited with the win in that game having pitched 6 innings. In the course of those innings, he allowed 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, and struck out 5 batters. It is not yet known who will start for Milwaukee in Monday night’s series-opener. Monday night’s broadcast is scheduled to start at 8pm ET. Dave O’Brien will have the call for that game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Mark Mulder.

More information on ESPN’s weekly baseball coverage is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.