ESPN Announces 2018 NCAA Frozen Four Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

College basketball’s championship has officially been awarded and the season has come to an end once again.  Now with its finale has come and gone, it’s college hockey’s turn.

The NCAA’s Frozen Four has officially been set, and two of the teams in this year’s Frozen Four are some familiar names — Michigan and Notre Dame.  The other two teams that round out this year’s semifinal round are Minnesota Duluth and Ohio State.

Semifinal coverage starts on the ESPN networks starts this Thursday, April 5 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 as the Bulldogs take on the Buckeyes vie for one of the two spots in this year’s college hockey championship. The other pairing hits the ice later that night at 9:30 ET on ESPN2.

The winners of those two semifinal matchups will take to the ice for the NCAA college hockey championship Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.  John Buccigross, barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich will have the call for the sixth consecutive year at this year’s championship countdown.

2018 marks the second consecutive year that the Bulldogs have made an appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four.  Minnesota Duluth made it all the way to the championship round last season.  For the Buckeyes, this year is the first year since 1998 that the team has been part of the Frozen Four.

Notre Dame is a hands on favorite to win this year’s tournament, having already made it into the Frozen Four last year and into the overall college hockey championship over the past two years straight.  The Fighting Irish also won the Big Ten regular season championship and the conference tournament, leading to a #2 overall seeding for the college hockey championship tournament.

Michigan is making its 25th appearance in the Frozen Four this year, but its first since 2011.  The school already has nine college hickey national championships to its credit, but hasn’t actually won the title since 1998, giving the Wolverines plenty to play for this year.

More information on this year’ NCAA Frozen Four championship coverage is available online now along with all of the latest college hockey news at:

 

Website: http://www.uscho.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/USCHO

 

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ESPN Adds Championship Manager To Its ‘Baseball Tonight’ Broadcast Team

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added another big name to its Baseball Tonight broadcast team.

The network announced Friday that it has inked a deal with World Series Champion manager John Farrell to join its team.  Farrell, who currently serves as an adviser for the Cincinnati Reds, led the Boston Red Sox to a World Series Championship in 2013.

Farrell is currently scheduled to make his Baseball Tonight debut next Wednesday, March 29 at midnight on ESPN2.  From there, he will join the Baseball Tonight broadcast team each week throughout the 2018 Major League Baseball season ahead of each Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.

Farrell said of his new deal that he was looking forward to getting started.

“I’m excited to join ESPN and contribute to its Major League Baseball coverage,” Ferrell said.

Seth Markman, ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer, said he was happy to have Ferrell added to the network.

“John is a World Series Champion who brings a wealth of knowledge, plus the always-valuable manager’s perspective,” Markman said.

Along with his debut broadcast, he will appear again March 29 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.

More information on Ferrell’s addition to ESPN’s broadcast ranks is available online now along with all of the latest ESPN news at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.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 Inks New Extension With Sun Belt Conference

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has inked a new deal with the Sunbelt Conference.

The new deal takes the partnership between the worldwide leader in sports and the conference through the 20207-’28 season.  The groups’ current contract was set to expire at the end of the 2019-’20 season, extending that deal out an additional eight seasons.

The new agreement makes ESPN the exclusive broadcast partner of the Sunbelt Conference, giving coverage to more than 500 conference-controlled events across the conference’s 18 sports on the ESPN television networks and on ESPN+.  Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Scheduling and Acquisitions said the new deal was a boon both for ESPN and for the Sunbelt Conference.

“ESPN has a long, mutually beneficial relationship with the Sun Belt, dating back to our foundational years,” Magnus said.  “We are thrilled to take that relationship to a new level via this new innovative and exclusive extension, while also deepening our commitment to serving college sports fans.  More Sun Belt events and content than ever will now be available to fans however they choose to consume them in a more personalized and targeted manner.”

Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner, agreed.

“The continuation of our agreement with ESPN marks one of the most historic announcements since the Sun Belt’s founding in 1976,” Benson said.  “This is truly an ‘all in’ collaboration with ESPN, the Sun Belt, and our member institutions, and the volume of accessibility of our games will have a profound impact on the future of the Sun Belt.  We have enjoyed a long relationship with ESPN since its founding in 1979, and we look forward to being featured on its newest platform, ESPN+, which promises to revolutionize how fans of the Sun Belt and of all college sports watch their favorite teams in action.”

More information on ESPN’s new contract extension with the Sun Belt Conference is available online now along with all of the network’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.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 Announces Early Details For 2018 MEAC/SWAC Challenge

COURTESY: ESPN Events

ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, has added another matchup to its already extensive 2018 college football broadcast schedule.

The network has added the MEAC/SWAC Challenge to its annual college football broadcast schedule.  The early season game is a matchup of teams from two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  This year’s showdown will pit N.C. Central (MEAC) against Prairie View A&M (SWAC) Sept. 2 at Pete Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium.

The game is one of a number of games owned and operated by ESPN Events.  Terms of the deal between ESPN and other involved parties will see ESPN carry the game for the next three years on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, the traditional opening weekend of the annual college football season.

2018 marks the 14th year that the MEAC/SWAC Challenge has been held.  It also marks the return of the game to a neutral field instead of either team’s home field.

Adding to the interest of this year’s game is that it will be played in the same city as the Celebration Bowl, which features the MEAC and SWAC champions facing off in a bowl-season opening championship game.  This year’s Celebration Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15 at Mercedez Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.  It will be played live on one of ESPN’s networks, which will be announced at a later date.

John Grant, ESPN Events’ Celebration Bowl Executive Director said in a recent interview that placing the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in the same city as the Celebration Bowl made common sense.

“In addition to being a hotbed for college football fandom, Atlanta is a culturally diverse city, with a rich history of HBCU education and excellence,” Grant said.  “To begin the HBCU football season in the same city it concludes in, will give fans two vibrant touchpoints for the excitement and pageantry of these matchups.”

MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas and SWAC Interim Commissioner Edgar Gantt both agreed.

“I am proud to continue this extraordinary event that showcases the excellent student-athletes and coaches from both the MEAC and the SWAC on a national stage,” Thomas said.  “We have a tremendous partnership with ESPN and we appreciate all of their efforts on behalf of both conferences.”

Gantt echoed those sentiments.

“The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is a great contest that our coaches and student-athletes look forward to competing in year after year,” Gantt said.  “ESPN Events has done a wonderful job in making sure the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is a first-class event that ultimately sets the stage for the road back to Atlanta.”

More information on the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.meacswacchallenge.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MEAC_SWAC

 

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.

 

Rodriguez, Vasgersian To Replace Shulman, Boone On ESPN’s ‘SNB’ Broadcasts

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will have some new, but well-known new faces this spring when its Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts return.

The worldwide leader in sports announced this week that Yankee great Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian will join the program’s broadcast team.  Jessica Mendoza will return, too.  Vasgersian will be the program’s new play-by-play announcer, taking the place of Dan Shulman while Rodriguez will serve as analyst, taking over from Aaron Boone.

ESPN announced last summer that Shulman would be leaving the program after last season.  While he stepped away from ESPN’s flagship MLB program, he is still working with ESPN covering Major League Baseball on its ESPN Radio broadcasts.  He is also busy covering college basketball for ESPN.

Boone meanwhile will go from the broadcast booth to the dugout after being named the Yankees new manager during the off-season. Both Rodriguez and Vasgersian said in interviews that they were looking forward to joining ESPN’s MLB broadcast team.

“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said.  “It’s an exciting time in baseball, and now I get that front row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN as well as calling my fourth post season on Fox where I started this journey.”

Vasgersian agreed.

“Jon and Dan set the bar super high for Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play, so it’s a real thrill for someone who still remembers his first Minor League bus trip in 1991 to have a chair like this one,” he said. “I know firsthand how passionate both Alex and Jessica are about baseball, and I can’t wait to get started with them.”

Mendoza said she was looking forward to working with her new broadcast partners.

“I am incredibly excited to work with both Alex and Matt,” Mendoza said.  “Matt has been a friend for a long time and someone whose work I’ve long admired. Alex’s achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I’ve been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Stephanie Druley, ESPN Senior Vice President of events and studio production said the new broadcast team was the right fit for ESPN because of its collective experience.

“Alex is one of the most recognizable personalities in all of sports, and he’s made a well-documented impact on the sports media landscape. His dynamic personality and incredible baseball knowledge, combined with Matt Vasgersian’s expertise, enthusiasm and poise, make for terrific additions to Sunday Night Baseball, with existing commentators Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney,” Druley said.  “We’re excited about the potential for this team and we’re appreciative to our MLB Network and Fox Sports counterparts, as all parties were more than willing to collaborate in order to serve Major League Baseball fans.”

ESPN’s current Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is noted below.

Schedule:

Date Telecast
Apr. 1 San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Apr. 8 New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Apr. 15 Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Apr. 22 Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Apr. 29 New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels** – Olney’s Pick!
May 6 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
May 13 Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks
May 20 Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros
May 27* San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
July 1 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
July 22 New York Mets at New York Yankees
July 29 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
Aug. 19 MLB Little League Classic

*Telecast to air on ESPN2.

Additional Sunday Night Baseball selections for June through September will be made up to two weeks prior to the dates.

This year marks the 29th year of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.  Each game will be preceded at 7 p.m. on ESPN by Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.

More information on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at http://www.espn.com/mlb.

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.

 

 

Warriors, Celtics Face Off Saturday In “Battle Of The Best” Live On ABC

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by YouTube TV continues its 2018 broadcast season this Saturday night with another cross-conference matchup.

The Boston Celtics will be on the road Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors in a “Battle of the Best.”  Each team leads its respective conference and has an equal chance of taking the win in Saturday’s game, going by the numbers.

Both teams will come into Saturday’s matchup well-rested, having last played Tuesday, January 23.  Each won its respective game, too.  The Celtics have been almost as good on the road so far this season as they have been at home, going 17 – 6 on the road so far versus going 18 – 8 at home.  The team is 6 – 4 in its last 10 games, again with its most recent game ending in a win for the team.

Golden State meanwhile has proven to be slightly better on the road so far this season than at home, going 21 – 4 on the road and 17 – 6 at home.  The team has gone 8 – 2 in its last 10 games, with its most recent game also resulting in a win.

Again, looking at the numbers, Saturday’s match is sure to be a hard-fought battle that will be well worth the watch by any NBA fan.  Coverage is currently scheduled to start at 830 p.m. ET on ABC with Mike Breen on the call.  Analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will also be on hand for additional commentary alongside officiating analyst Steve Javie and sideline reporter Israel Gutierrez.

Saturday night’s broadcast will be preceded by NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk beginning at 8 p.m. ET.  Michelle Beadle will anchor the broadcast, and will be joined by analysts Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce for additional commentary.

More information on Saturday night’s broadcast is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nba

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNBA

 

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 Announces NFL Pro Bowl Coverage Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The stage is officially set for this year’s Super Bowl, but before the big game, there will be one more game for NFL fans — the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl, and ESPN will carry full coverage of the annual NFL superstar showcase game.

This year’s NFL Pro Bowl will be played this Sunday, January 28 live from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.  ESPN’s coverage of the game is scheduled to start at 2:50 p.m. ET, with coverage being simulcast on television on ABC and ESPN Deportes.  It will also stream online via the ESPN app.

ESPN Deportes’ coverage is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET with a special edition of SportsCenter.  Eduardo Varela and analyst Pablo Viruega will have the call for the network.

ESPN and ABC’s pre-game coverage is also scheduled to start at 1 p.m. with a special Postseason NFL Countdown pregame show.  The program will air live from Camping World Stadium.  Analysts Randy Moss and Charles Woodson will join host Suzy Kolber for additional commentary alongside ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and reporter Michele Steele.

ESPN Monday Night Football voice Sean McDonough will anchor the ESPN/ABC broadcast of the NFL Pro Bowl. He will be joined in the booth by analyst Matt Hasselbeck for a special one-time appearance.  Field analyst Louis Riddick and reporter Lisa Salters will also be on hand for additional commentary.

Among the stars expected to play in Sunday’s game are Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams), Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders), Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins) and others.

Before Brees and the rest of the NFL’s elite take to the field for the Pro Bowl, they will take part tonight, in the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.  Coverage is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET.  McDonough and the rest of the MNF team will call the competition, which will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The competition sees the stars competing in events such as the Drone Drop, Precision passing drill (for quarterbacks), Gridiron Gauntlet (relay race) and Pro Bowl Dodgeball (exactly what it sounds like) as well as other events.

Those who miss tonight’s broadcast will get more chances to see it as it will re-air on ESPN, ABC and even Disney XD.  the current schedule of events leading up to the ESPN networks’ Pro Bowl broadcast is noted below.

ESPN Programs at 2018 NFL Pro Bowl:
DATE TIME (ET) SHOW & COMMENTATORS NETWORK(S)
Thurs,

Jan 25
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. SportsCenter and NFL Live *

(Pro Bowl practices – ESPN Wide World of Sports)
Wendi Nix, Darren Woodson, Jac Collinsworth and Steele
ESPN/ESPN2
9 p.m. Pro Bowl Skills Showdown

(ESPN’s Wide World of Sports)
Sean McDonough, Matt Hasselbeck and Lisa Salters
ESPN
Fri,

Jan 26
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. SportsCenter and NFL Live *

(Pro Bowl practices – ESPN Wide World of Sports)
Nix, Woodson, Collinsworth and Steele
ESPN/ESPN2
Sat,

Jan 27
7-11 a.m. SportsCenter *

(Pro Bowl practices – ESPN Wide World of Sports)
Steele
ESPN

Sun,

Jan 28
6:30 a.m. –

12 p.m.
 
SportsCenter *

(Pro Bowl – Camping World Stadium)
Steele
ESPN
1-2:50 p.m. Postseason NFL Countdown

(Camping World Stadium)
Suzy Kolber, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson, Adam Schefter and Steele
ESPN

ABC
2:50 p.m. NFL Pro Bowl

(Camping World Stadium)
McDonough, Hasselbeck, Riddick and Salters
ESPN

ESPN Deportes
ABC
* show segments

More information on the ESPN networks’ NFL coverage is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nfl

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNFL

 

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.