ESPN Reaches New TV Deal With C-USA

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

College Football fans are going to get more of their favorite sport this fall.  That is because ESPN has signed a new television deal with Conference USA.

Beginning this fall ESPN will air five C-USA football games and the C-USA Conference Championship game.  The deal currently runs through the 2017 season.  Three of those five games will feature C-USA teams hosting non-conference teams in the early portion of the season.  The last week of the regular season will be comprised of two conference matchups.  The C-USA Conference Championship is currently scheduled to be played Saturday, December 3rd.

The 2016 schedule opens with Indiana at Florida International University on Thursday, September 1st.  It is scheduled to air at 7:30pm ET on ESPNU.  Two more games will be played Friday, September 16th.  Rice will host No. 7 Baylor at 8pm on ESPN in the night’s first game.  The second, UTSA hosting Arizona State, will be at 9:30pm ET on ESPN2. ESPN’s C-USA football schedule winds down with Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss on Friday, November 25th and Western Kentucky University on the road against Marshall on Saturday, November 26th.  Times for those two games and the conference championship will be announced at a later date.  The ESPN networks’ current C-USA football broadcast schedule is noted below.

 

ESPN Network’s Conference USA Television Schedule for 2016

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Sept. 1

7:30 p.m.

Indiana at FIU

ESPNU

Fri, Sept. 16

8 p.m.

No. 7 Baylor at Rice

ESPN

9:30 p.m.

Arizona State at UTSA

ESPN2

Fri, Nov. 25

TBD

Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss

TBD

Sat, Nov. 26

TBD

WKU at Marshall

TBD

Sat, Dec. 3

TBD

C-USA Football Championship Game

TBD

Rankings are per ESPN.com’s “way too early top 25” (May 10)

 

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of C-USA football is available online along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

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

 

 

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Local Blackout Lifted For 100th Indianapolis 500; Race Officially Sold Out

Indianapolis, IN - May 24, 2015 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Will Power (1) and Simon Pagenaud (22) competing in the 99th Indianapolis 500 (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Indianapolis, IN – May 24, 2015 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Will Power (1) and Simon Pagenaud (22) competing in the 99th Indianapolis 500
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

There’s some good news today racing fans in Indiana.

It was announced today that the local TV blackout of the 100th Indianapolis 500 has officially been lifted.  ABC’s broadcast of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will now air live across America.  The announcement comes alongside this morning’s announcement that this year’s race is officially sold out.  It is the first time that the race has been completely sold out in its now 100 year history.

The lifting of the local blackout means that Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV-TV will have full coverage of the race.  Along with this, the station will also run its traditional re-broadcast of the race beginning at 7pm ET.  This year’s local broadcast marks only the third time that the race will have been broadcast live in Central Indiana and the first time since 1950.

2016 marks the 52nd consecutive year that ABC will broadcast the Indianapolis 500.  It first aired on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1965.  The first time that it aired live was in 1986.  Anyone not near a television during the race can still catch it live online via WatchESPN beginning at 11am ET.  The green flag is set to fly at 12:17pm ET.  More information on this year’s broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 is available online along with all of the latest auto racing news at:

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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PBS Releasing New Episodes of Secrets of the Dead, NOVA In July

PBS Distribution has new episodes of PBS’ Secrets of the Dead and NOVA on the way this summer.

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

On Tuesday, July 5th PBS Distribution will release new episodes of Secrets of the Dead and NOVA on DVD.  Up first is Secrets of the Dead: Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb.  Everybody knows the story of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.  Her story has eve been made into a major motion picture starring legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor in the movie’s starring role.  For all that people know about Cleopatra (both fact and fiction) one thing still remains unknown—the actual place where she is buried.  This episode of Secrets of the Dead follows lawyer turned archaeologist Kathleen Martinez as she endeavors to find the famed queen’s final resting place.  What happens over the course of the program is quite intriguing to say the least.  This latest episode of Secrets of the Dead is a must have for any living room and classroom.  It will be available Tuesday, July 5th.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.

Courtesy:  PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

The second of PBS Distribution’s July 5th titles is NOVA: Vikings Unearthed.  It is not the first of PBS’ programs ever centered on the infamous Norsemen.  But it is just as interesting as the network’s previous offerings centered on the Vikings.  This episode of NOVA follows researchers as they examine what may be the first new North American Viking site to be uncovered in half a century.  The last site to be discovered was in Newfoundland in the 1960s.  Now researchers have found another site in Newfoundland that they believe may be another Viking settlement.  The researchers–space archaeologist Dr. Sarah Parcak (National Geographic Fellow, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and winner of the TED 2016 prize), archaeologist Douglas Bolender (University of Massachusetts, Boston), and historian Dan Snow—is joined by a number of other experts from around the globe as they excavate and examine the site at Point Rosee in southern Newfoundland.  Satellite imagery, CGI recreations, and more is used throughout the investigation.

The investigation of the site is just part of the program’s story.  Also included in this episode of NOVA is an examination of the Vikings’ history, from their expertise in sailing and trading to the myths surrounding their culture and more.  The program runs roughly one hour, counting opening and end credits.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99 but can be pre-ordered online direct now at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  Audiences can view a trailer for NOVA: Vikings Unearthed online now here.

 

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

 

More information on these and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead and NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://pbs.org/secrets, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SecretsofTheDead, http://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SecretsPBS, http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

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ABC Marks 100th Indy 500 With Most Extensive Coverage Ever

Indianapolis, IN - May 24, 2015 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Will Power (1) and Simon Pagenaud (22) competing in the 99th Indianapolis 500 (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Indianapolis, IN – May 24, 2015 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Will Power (1) and Simon Pagenaud (22) competing in the 99th Indianapolis 500
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

2016 marks a very important milestone in the world of auto racing.  It marks the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.  And it marks the 52nd consecutive year that it will air live on ABC.

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place this Sunday, May 29th.  It will be live beginning with ABC’s pre-race broadcast at 11am ET on ABC.  The green flag is currently set to fly at 12:17pm ET.  For the first time ever, it will be simulcast live online via WatchESPN.  In honor of the race’s 100th anniversary, 100 cameras will be set up around and even above the track for the most immersive coverage ever of what has come to be known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”  Julie Sobieski is VP of ESPN’s League Sports Programming.  She discussed the expanded coverage in a discussion with the press and the importance of that coverage.  “We’ve been pointing to the 100th Indianapolis 500 for a long time and now that it’s here, we’re more proud than ever to be associated with the Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” she said.  “Producing this telecast is a labor of love for our team and this will be our biggest year ever. We’re all really looking forward to Sunday.”

ABC’s expanded coverage of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by Firestone includes three cameras per car on 12 of the field’s 33 cars.  There will also be four Ultra Hi Motion cameras positioned around the track that capture images 20 times slower than live action cameras.  This allows viewers to see detail of the track, cars, and even pit road not commonly visible via live action cameras.  There will also be aerial cameras mounted on a blimp, helicopter, and above pit road.  The drivers whose cars will hold those onboard cameras are: pole sitter James Hinchcliffe, defending Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, 2015 Verizon Indycar Series Champion Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter- Reay, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato, and Helio Castroneves.  Castroneves has additional motivation this year.  He will attempt this year to be only the fourth driver to win the race four times.

A total of 287 microphones will be used to capture sound throughout the race.  26 of those microphones will be mounted on the field of 33 cars.  235 others will be mounted all the way around the track totaling 170,000 feet of fiber optic cable16 transmission points, and four uplinks.  As if all of that isn’t enough, audiences will have also have the option of a second screen experience through a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras via ESPN3.  ESPN3 will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN.

Allan Bestwick will anchor Sunday’s broadcast.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts and former drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever for additional commentary.  Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl, and Dr. Jerry Punch will be in the pits with all of the latest news and interviews throughout the race.  Lindsay Czarniak will anchor ABC’s pre-race broadcast live from IMS’ iconic pagoda.  She will be joined by Marty Smith for additional commentary and insight.

ESPN and its family of networks will offer extensive coverage of the 100th Indianapolis 500 leading up to its broadcast this weekend.  Information on that coverage is available online now along with all of the latest auto racing news at:

 

 

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

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.

The Rescue Bots Roll To The Rescue Again Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hasbro Studios

Shout! Factory is teaming up with Hasbro Studios once again this summer to release yet another installment of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots this summer.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, Jun 21st.  Levar Burton’s (Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Planet and the Planeteers) character Doc Greene gets the spotlight in most of the collection’s episodes.  Case in point “One For The Ages.”  This Season 2 episode sees Cody turned into an adult by Doc Greene’s stasis machine while Kade has to take over Griffin Rock Emergency while Chief Burns falls ill.  In Season 3’s “Too Many Kades” Doc Greene’s Imaging Chamber stars making clones of Kade.  Each one has its own personality.  This leads to its own share of problems for Cody and the Rescue Bots.  Meanwhile Kade learns a valuable lesson about teamwork when gas leak at the Natural Gas Reserve.  And in another Season 3 episode, “I have Heard The Robots Singing,” Doc Greene’s inventions cause even more chaos.  This time Doc Greene’s Tone-O-Tuner is the culprit.  Priscilla Pynch originally got her hands on it in one of her devious plots.  But when Huxley Prescott accidentally runs into it with his van, it leads to everyone in Griffin Rock singing everything that they say instead of just speaking.  Of course Doc Greene’s tech isn’t the only cause of problems for the people of Griffin Rock.  In “The Island of Misfit Tech” (obviously an homage to Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer’s Island of Misfit Toys) an out of control mechanical bull sends Cody and the Rescue Bots to the mysterious Island via the “Beam Box.”  Even Doc Greene isn’t sure who built the box.  As they explore the island, Cody and company discover that it is populated by the world’s most dangerous technology is stored.  “Space Bots” is another episode proving that Doc Greene isn’t always at the heart of the Rescue Bots’ adventures.  Though, Doc Greene himself is at the center of the episode as he and Graham have to be saved when an experiment with a space elevator called the Asgard goes horribly wrong.  It’s up to Cody and the Rescue Bots to save them.

The five episodes that are featured in Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech all feature the same theme.  They are lifted from the series’ second and third season.  The DVD will be available in stores and online Tuesday, January 21st.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.93 but can be pre-ordered online now at the discounted price of $13.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-heroes-of-tech.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

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://philspickw.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Going Wild Again This Summer With New LPS Collection

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios have teamed up once again to release another new collection of episodes from the former Discovery Family series Littlest Pet Shop.

Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, June 14th.  This latest collection features five more episodes from the former Discovery Family series. In this collection’s episodes, Russell challenges Sunil and Vinnie in a contest to entertain a new raccoon named Mr. VonFuzzlebut in “Sleeper.”  Things don’t exactly turn out as any of them had planned, of course.  And in the same episode Blythe’s furry friends face a threat from the outside when Fisher Bizkit sends his daughters to find out why Littlest Pet Shop is so successful.  Blythe learns an important lesson about friendship in “Why Can’t We Be Friends” as she tosses away her old friends upon meeting a new friend.  Meanwhile in the same episode Vinnie learns his own lesson about friendship when he befriends a spider even though Sunil, his original friend, is afraid of spiders.  And in “Room Enough” Blythe has to deal with a very curious kitten while deciding on how to re-organize her room.  These are just some of the stories presented in this latest collection.  There is also a special two-part episode included in the collection that features a guest appearance from one Heidi Klum (America’s Got Talent).

All five episodes included in Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends follow the general theme of friendship.  They are each also lifted from the series’ third season.  Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends will be available in stores and online Tuesday, June 14th.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.93 but can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $13.93 now via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-making-friends.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

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.

Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For Maude: The Complete Fifth Season

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Bea Arthur is returning to TVs again this summer.  No, she’s not a zombie.  She is returning thanks to the people at Shout! Factory.

Shout! Factory will release the fifth season of the late, great actresses’ series Maude this summer.  Maude: The Complete Fifth Season will be released Tuesday, June 14th in stores and online.  Season Five is loaded with just as much heart and sharp humor as the series’ previous four seasons.  This time out, there are some interesting discussions on gender roles in “Feminine Fulfillment,” “The Election,” and “Mrs. Naugatuck’s Wedding.”  Rue McClanahan is forced to face her issues with funerals (and death in the bigger picture) in the season premiere “Vivian’s First Funeral.”  The issue of race is tackled in the season finale when Maude gets anew housekeeper in the aptly titled “The New Maid.”  These are just some of the storylines that will keep audiences entertained and engaged throughout Season Five’s twenty-four total episodes.  There are plenty more laughs to be had throughout that span including Walter battling with his own sexuality in “Arthur’s Worry,” Maude getting on a TV game show in “The Game Show” and some extended family troubles for Maude in “Maude’s Aunt.”

The laughs that are offered this season are just part of the season’s enjoyment.  There are guest appearances by Michael Keaton (Birdman, Batman, Batman Returns), Nanette Fabray (One Day at a Time, The Hollywood Squares, The Bandwagon), Charles Lane (It’s A Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington), Eugene Roche (Webster, Slaughterhouse-Five, When A Man Loves a Woman) and others.

Maude: The Complete Fifth Season will be available in stores and online Tuesday, June 14th.  It will retail for MSRP of $26.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $22.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/maude-season-five.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

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.