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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Family Of Networks Add ACC Football Games To 2013 Schedule

ACC Football Graphic

Fans of both college football and of the ACC will get a big treat from the ESPN family of networks beginning this fall.  ESPN has officially announced that it will broadcast no fewer than twenty additional ACC college football games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU during the course of the 2013 season.  The first three weeks of the upcoming college football season will see every home game from specific ACC teams, as well as a road and neutral site matchup across the ESPN family of networks.  This is in addition to five previously released ACC games.

As an added bonus for ACC football fans, the new deal between the ACC and the ESPN family of networks means that they will get to see the Dr Pepper ACC Championship from Charlotte, North Carolina and the previously announced quartet of Thursday ESPN College Football  Primetime telecasts.  Also, the deal has guaranteed at least one game on “Black Friday.”

The whole schedule kicks off with a matchup between the University of North Carolina and SEC #8 South Carolina.  The game is the first of the four scheduled Thursday ESPN College Football Primetime telecasts.  The game is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 29th at 6pm on ESPN.  Virginia Tech and two-time defending BCS National Champion Alabama follow on August 31st at 5:30pm on ESPN.  The game, the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game is scheduled to be played in Atlanta.  Miami will face #11 Florida on September 7th at noon on ESPN.  Also expected to be broadcast that day is a matchup between Virginia and 3 Oregon at 3:30pm on ABC and ESPN2.

The current schedule of games is listed below.  More games will be announced as the season moves forward.

The 2013 ACC schedule as of May 23 (additional selections to be announced):

 

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 29 6 p.m. North Carolina at No. 8 South Carolina * ESPN
  6:30 p.m. Presbyterian at Wake Forest ESPN3
Fri, Aug 30 8 p.m. Florida Atlantic at Miami (Fla.) ESPNU
Sat, Aug 31 Noon Villanova at Boston College ESPN3
  Noon Elon at Georgia Tech ESPN3
  12:30 p.m. Louisiana Tech at NC State ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  12:30 p.m. Florida International at Maryland ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  3:30 p.m. BYU at Virginia ESPNU
  4 p.m. North Carolina Central at Duke ESPN3
  5:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff: Virginia Tech vs. No. 2 Alabama (from Atlanta) * ESPN
  8 p.m. No. 7 Georgia at No. 12 Clemson * ABC
Mon, Sep 2 8 p.m. No. 14 Florida State at Pittsburgh * ESPN
Fri, Sep 6 8 p.m. Wake Forest at Boston College * ESPN2
Sat, Sep 7 Noon No. 11 Florida at Miami (Fla.) ESPN
  12:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee at North Carolina ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  12:30 p.m. South Carolina State at No. 12 Clemson ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  1:30 p.m. Western Carolina at Virginia Tech ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. No. 3 Oregon at Virginia ABC & ESPN2
  4 p.m. Old Dominion at Maryland ESPN3
  6 p.m. Richmond at NC State ESPN3
Sat, Sep 14 12:30 p.m. New Mexico at Pittsburgh ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  12:30 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest ESPN3 ^ / ACC Network
  3:30 p.m. Nevada at No. 14 Florida State ESPN or ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. Georgia Tech at Duke ESPNU
  4 p.m. Wagner at Syracuse ESPN3
Thu, Sep 19 7:30 p.m. No. 12 Clemson at NC State * ESPN
Thu, Sep 26 7:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech * ESPN
Thu, Oct 17 TBD Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina * ESPN
Thu, Nov 14 7:30 p.m. Georgia Tech at No. 12 Clemson * ESPN
Fri, Nov 29 TBD Miami (Fla.) at Pittsburgh * ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Dec 7 7:45 p.m. or 8 p.m. Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game (from Charlotte) ABC or ESPN

For all the latest ACC news, fans can follow the conference on its official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/theACC and its official website, http://www.theACC.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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Breaks New Ground With 2012-2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Good news for ESPN.  The networks’ coverage of the 2012-2013 college basketball regular season was its most viewed ever.  ESPN averaged nearly 1.4 million viewers over the course of 135 games.  To be precise, it averaged 1,370,000 viewers.  That passes the network’s previous record of 1,353,000 viewers over 130 telecasts during the 2011-2012 Season.  It pulled in a 1.1 coverage rating for both seasons.  Along with this new honor, ESPN also pulled in the season’s three largest audiences for a college basketball game on the network over the course of only a month.  The first of those games was then #3 Indiana taking down #1 Michigan on February 2nd.  The game was the best for the network.  It brought in an average of 4,035,000 viewers, a 2.9 rating and 2,867,000 households.  The second of the network’s best games was the February 19th game in which then #1 Indiana defeated #4 Michigan State.  This game brought ESPN its second largest audience of the season, with an average of 3,733,000 viewers, a 2.7 coverage rating and 2,677,000 households.  The third of the network’s highest rated games was the March 2nd matchup between then #3 Duke defeating #5 Miami 79-76.  The game averaged 3,416,000 viewers, a 2.5 coverage rating and 2,459,000 households. 

In all, ESPN and its network of stations averaged a total of 508,000 viewers for its full slate of 602 games throughout its 2012-2013 season.  It marked the most extensive coverage of men’s basketball on television this season and more than any other networks combined pointing out yet again why ESPN is the sports leader.

One extra interesting note:  Louisville was the highest-rated metered market for the network’s 2012-2013 regular season coverage.  It pulled in an average 4.5 rating.  Greensboro came in second for the second straight year with a 3.1 rating.  A full listing of the top rated cities is available below.

Top 25 Markets for 2012-13 Top 25 Markets for 2011-12
No. 1    Louisville: 4.5 rating No. 1    Louisville: 4.5 rating
No. 2    Greensboro: 3.1 rating No. 2    Greensboro: 3.5 rating
No. 3   Raleigh-Durham: 3.0 rating No. 3   Kansas City: 2.8 rating
No. 4    Indianapolis: 2.9 rating No. 4    Columbus: 2.7 rating
No. 5   Kansas City: 2.7 rating         Raleigh-Durham 2.7 rating
No. 6   Cincinnati: 2.1 rating No. 6   Charlotte: 2.3 rating
        Columbus: 2.1 rating No. 7    Cincinnati: 2.1 rating
No. 8   Dayton: 2.0 rating No. 8   Dayton: 2.0 rating
No. 9    Charlotte: 1.8 rating No. 9    Indianapolis: 1.8 rating
No. 10  Knoxville: 1.7 rating         Knoxville: 1.8 rating
        Nashville: 1.7 rating No. 11   Memphis: 1.6 rating
No. 12  Detroit: 1.6 rating         Nashville: 1.6 rating
No. 13  Birmingham: 1.5 rating No. 13  Greenville: 1.5 rating
No. 14  Memphis: 1.3 rating No. 14  Cleveland: 1.4 rating
        Hartford & New Haven: 1.3 rating         Birmingham: 1.4 rating
        Greenville: 1.3 rating         Las Vegas: 1.4 rating
        Cleveland: 1.3 rating No. 17  Norfolk: 1.2 rating
        Norfolk: 1.3 rating         Hartford and New Haven: 1.2 rating
        St. Louis: 1.3 rating         St. Louis: 1.2 rating
No. 20   Richmond: 1.2 rating No. 20   Fort Myers: 1.1 rating
        Las Vegas: 1.2 rating         Atlanta: 1.1 rating
No. 22  Fort Myers: 1.1 rating         Richmond: 1.1 rating
        Milwaukee: 1.1 rating No. 23  Pittsburgh: 1.0 rating
No. 24  Baltimore: 1.0 rating         Detroit: 1.0 rating
        Tulsa: 1.0 rating         Oklahoma City: 1.0 rating
        Atlanta: 1.0 rating         Jacksonville: 1.0 rating
        Oklahoma City: 1.0 rating         Tulsa: 1.0 rating

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 Celebrating March Madness With New 30 for 30 Film

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

March is the favorite time of year for college basketball fans.  Every March, college basketball fans across the country celebrate the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness.”  “March Madness” is upon us once again.  This Sunday, March 17th marks the beginning of the “madness.”  It’s selection Sunday.  The next week is the start of the tournament.  In celebration of the annual tournament, ESPN is giving college basketball fans a little post-Selection Sunday treat.  The Sports Leader will air a very special new addition to its series of 30 for 30 film series titled, “Survive and Advance.”

“Survive and Advance” follows the unlikely story of the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack basketball team.  It was under the direction of then coach Jim Valvano that the team became that year’s Cinderella story.  It follows the team through the good, the great, and the ugly.  This is an excellent way to both wind down after a big day, and get even more excited for the tournament.  It opens with the members of the team—now older—getting together, remembering that incredible year.  From there, ESPN and director Jonathan Hock pull from the vaults, the games that illustrated the team’s meteoric rise that season.  The games are expertly set alongside interviews with team members and friends (including rival coaches Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski).  While the two were rivals of each other and rivals to Coach Valvano, they share their own happy memories of that tournament and of Coach Valvano.  There won’t be a dry eye in the house after hearing the memories in question.

College basketball fans will be moved by the memories shared as they are memories not just of the tournament that season, but of the man that led the Wolfpack.  For those that might not know, for all the team’s success that season, it suddenly had a Goliath of a challenge to face when it was announced that Coach Valvano had been diagnosed with cancer.  The second half of “Survive and Advance” balances the team’s highs and lows just as expertly as the mix of games and interviews in its first half.  One of the most emotional moments of the documentary’s second half is Coach Valvano’s now famous speech at the ESPY Awards.  It’s one of so many moments that will leave even the strongest of viewers moved to tears.  Whether one bleeds light blue, dark blue, red and white, purple and gold, whatever the case may be, this moment was an integral part to the overall presentation.  And it will leave any viewer moved.  Both ESPN and [Jonathan] Hock are to be commended for making sure this memory was shared.

Even through facing the challenge of cancer and later an academic scandal, fans see the determination of Coach Valvano and the entire Wolfpack squad right to the NCAA Championship and beyond in the second half of “Survive and Advance.”  Highlights of the now legendary game are included, bringing back fond memories for Wolfpack fans and college basketball fans in general of all ages.  Viewers are taken through the matchup between Houston and NC State, right to its end through both the game’s footage and interviews with members of that year’s team.  Of course the story doesn’t end there.  Viewers are also taken through the academic scandal that followed and Coach Valvano’s eventual return for the 10th anniversary of the team’s title run and Jimmy V’s untimely passing.  In those final moments of this near two hour documentary, viewers finally see why “Survive and Advance” was a perfect choice for its title.  Just as Coach K said of him, he might have died, but his spirit didn’t.  He might not have beaten cancer, but his legacy and that of the 1983 Wolfpack squad has survived to this day.  And it will indeed advance.

“Survive and Advance” airs this Sunday night at 9pm on ESPN.  To get more information on “Survive and Advance” and any other documentary in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, go online to http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30.

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.