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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ESPN Releases Broadcast Schedule For 2016 Frozen Four Tournament

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 – 2016 college basketball season is all but wrapped up after Monday night’s men’s championship matchup between Villanova and UNC.  Tonight the women get their turn as UConn and Syracuse face off for their title.  College basketball may be getting all of the attention but it’s not the only sport that is wrapping up its season.  The annual “Frozen Four” tournament wraps up the 2015 – 2016 college hockey season this weekend.  And ESPN will have full coverage of the annual tournament.

Denver, North Dakota, Boston College, and Quinnipiac will vie for the NCAA college hockey title in this year’s Frozen Four.  The 2016 tournament will be carried across a number of ESPN’s platforms live from the site of the tournament, Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.  The tournament will be held this Thursday, April 7th and Saturday, April 9th.  Top-seeded Quinnipiac will take on Boston College in the first of the semi-final matchups Thursday at 5pm ET.  No. 3 seed North Dakota will take on the Pioneers of Denver in Thursday’s second game.  That game is scheduled for an 8:30pm ET start time.  The winners of those games will face off in the Frozen Four Championship match Saturday night at 8pm ET.

John Buccigross and Barry Melrose will have the call for all three of this weekend’s games.  Quint Kessenich will be between the benches for all of the games’ latest news and interviews.  Victoria Arlen makes her debut with the team this year.  She is a former Paralympian Gold Medalist.  She joined ESPN in 2015 and regularly reports for espnW, X Games, and SportsCenter.  All three games in this weekend’s Frozen Four Tournament will be carried live on ESPN2 and online via ESPN3 Surround.  The streaming option allows fans to watch the game from ice level via a trio of robotic cameras that are placed on the glass around the rink.  The trophy presentation will be carried online exclusively on ESPN3.

Along with the exclusive ice-level coverage via ESPN3 Surround, the refs in each game will be wearing mics, letting audiences hear from them at various points throughout the final three games.  On the studio side, Steve Levy will anchor ESPN’s studio coverage of this weekend’s tournament.  From ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT.  He will be joined by college hockey analysts Sean Ritchlin and Dave Starman for additional commentary.  Fans can also follow all of the scores, news, and more via Twitter at http://twitter.com/NCAAIceHockey and http://twitter.com/hashtag/frozenfour.  More information on this year’s Frozen Four tournament is available online now along with all of the latest college hockey news at:

 

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

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

 

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ESPN Networks To Carry Extensive Coverage Of NCAA Div. I Women’s Basketball Tournament

Courtesy: ESPN  L - R: Kevin Neghandi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

Courtesy: ESPN
L – R: Kevin Neghandi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

March 13th, 2016 is one of the biggest nights in the 2015 – 2016 college basketball season.  That is because it is selection Sunday.  It is just one of the college basketball world’s big days.  On Monday, March 14th, ESPN will have exclusive coverage of “Selection Monday.”

The full 64-team field for the Women’s NCAA Division I college basketball tournament will be revealed on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capitol One will air March 14th at 7pm ET on ESPN.  Kevin Neghandi will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by veteran analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo for additional commentary.  Coverage doesn’t end after the last team is announced, either.  ESPNU will pick up coverage at 8pm ET with the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capitol One.  Both shows will include special features and interviews and an exclusive interview with Chris Dawson during ESPN’s coverage during the 7pm hour.  Dawson is Chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.

As an added bonus, ESPN will once again carry all 63 games in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Capitol One.  It all leads up to the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four from Indianapolis, IN on April 3rd and 5th.  2016 marks the eleventh consecutive year that ESPN has carried complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.  ESPN and ESPN2 will carry coverage of regionalized telecasts with home protection through the tournament’s first two rounds.  ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court, ESPN’s pay-per-view service, will offer complete first and second round coverage as a supplement to the coverage offered by ESPN and ESPN2.  The tournament’s final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN and ESPN2.

Those wanting even more coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship can go online to espnW.com and ESPN.com as well as the SEC Network.  More information on this year’s coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship is available online now at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball

http://espn.go.com/espnw

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnw

 

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Gruden’s QB Camp Returns For Its Seventh Season This Spring

Orlando, FL - March 31, 2015 - Wide World of Sports: Jon Gruden during Gruden's QB Camp class of 2015 (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

Orlando, FL – March 31, 2015 – Wide World of Sports: Jon Gruden during Gruden’s QB Camp class of 2015
(Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

The start of the 2016 – 2017 NFL season is roughly six months away. Even with so much time until football returns, any true NFL fan will agree that it is never too soon to talk football. That being the case NFL fans will be happy to know that ESPN has announced the return of Gruden’s QB Camp this spring.

Gruden’s QB Camp is an integral part of ESPN’s annual pre-NFL Draft programming. This year it returns for its seventh year beginning April 12th at 8:30pm ET on ESPN and will run for a total of five weeks leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. It will air across the ESPN networks, including ABC. As a bonus for audiences, previous episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp will be available via ESPN Classic VOD beginning in the first week of April. Excerpts of each episode will be run on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and other shows.

This year’s season of Gruden’s QB Camp will feature projected first round picks Jared Goff (California — 1st Team All-Pac 12 selection), and Carson Wenz (North Dakota State – Most Outstanding Player from the NCAA D1 National Championship over the past two years). Also expected to appear on Gruden’s QB Camp this year are: Connor Cook (Michigan State — Big Ten QB of the Year and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award-winner), Christian Hackenberg (Penn State – 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year), Cardale Jones (Ohio State – 2015 College Football Playoff National Champion), Paxton Lynch (Memphis – AAC 1st Team selection), and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State – 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl MVP).

Over the course of its past six seasons Gruden’s QB Camp has welcomed fifty players. Forty-three of those fifty players were quarterbacks. Of those quarterbacks, ten have gone on to be starting QBs in the NFL including: Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers QB) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks QB). More information on this year’s season of Gruden’s QB Camp is available online with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

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

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

 

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.

Duke-UNC Round 2 Finishes Off ESPN’s 2016 Season Of College GameDay

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN wraps up its 2016 season of College GameDay Covered by State Farm this weekend. And the season finale will come from the site of one of the week’s most anticipated college basketball matchups.

ESPN ends another season of College GameDay Covered by State Farm this weekend. This weekend’s season-ending edition of its flagship college basketball program will come live from Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of Duke University. The broadcast, scheduled for an 11am ET air time, will preview the season’s second “Battle of the Blues.” That is the season’s second showdown between Duke and UNC. In the teams’ first meeting this season Duke came from behind late in the game to beat UNC by a single point 74 – 73. Rece Davis will anchor Saturday’s broadcast of College GameDay Covered by State Farm. He will be joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, and Jay Williams. This weekend’s edition of College GameDay Covered by State Farm will be the sixth time that GameDay will have ended its season at Duke. And for the 11th time overall UNC will be the road team. It will make the third time this season overall that UNC will make a visitor appearance from the site of a GameDay broadcast. The team’s previous two appearances were February 6th at Notre Dame and February 20th at Virginia. It is also the eighth time overall that GameDay has come from the site of a Duke-UNC rivalry game.

This week’s edition of Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV is scheduled for a 6:30pm start time on ESPN. Dan Shulman will have the call for Saturday’s showdown. He will be joined by Jay Bilas for additional commentary. Reporter Shannon Spake will be courtside for all of the game’s latest headlines, interviews and news.

More information on this weekend’s second “Battle of the Blues” is available online now along with all of the latest college basketball headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball

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

 

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 Adds Woodson To Its NFL Broadcast Team

NFL on ESPN Logo

Earlier this week ESPN announced a major addition to its NBA broadcast team. Now an announcement has come down about another big name joining the worldwide leader in sports.

Charles Woodson has joined ESPN as the network’s latest addition to its NFL broadcast team. Woodson, a Super Bowl Champion and nine-time Pro Bowl defensive back, recently announced his retirement from the NFL. Now he will continue his NFL career on the other side of the game as an analyst for ESPN. He will now be part of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. He will also make appearances on other ESPN studio shows and platforms. A firm date for his on-air debut has not yet been announced. However it is known that he will make his debut in July.

Seth Markman, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer for NFL shows noted Woodson’s accomplishments over the course of his career and the respect that he earned during his career as major reasons for his addition to ESPN’s NFL staff. “Charles is one of the most accomplished players of his era and he is held in such high regard by players, coaches and fans for the way he played the game and led his teams, he said. He will be a tremendous addition to ESPN and to our Sunday and Monday Countdown teams,” said Seth Markman, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer, NFL studio shows.

Woodson was humble in discussing his new appointment noting the reputation that Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown have helped build for ESPN. “I would like to thank ESPN for this incredible opportunity to join their Sunday and Monday Night Countdown shows. I look forward to carrying on their strong tradition and gaining the respect of those who came before me and those who will follow me,” he said. I’m extremely honored and can’t wait to get started.”

Woodson’s list of accomplishments during his career reads like a who’s who of the sport. He is one of one of very fe players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s). He played with the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII and earned a Super Bowl Championship as a member of the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1997 and a National Championship as a member of the Michigan Wolverines. He went on from there to be drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in the 1998 NFL Draft and tapped as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year that same year.

During his NFL career, Woodson was named the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team (2000s). He is tied for fifth place on the league’s all-time interceptions list (65), and most career defensive touchdowns (13). He is second all-time for interceptions returned for touchdowns (11) and amassed 1,003 tackles, 20 sacks and 28 forced fumbles over 254 regular-season games. That is the second-most games of any defensive back in NFL history. He also twice led the NFL in Interceptions—9 in 2009 and seven in 2011.

Adding to his accomplishments and accolades, Woodson was awarded the league’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship award as he finished his NFL career.

More information on Woodson’s addition to ESPN’s NFL staff is available online now along with all of the latest NFL news at:

 

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

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

 

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 Offering Extensive Coverage Of College Football Playoff Championship

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Next Monday night the 2015 – 2016 college football season finally comes to an end.

A season of hits and hard work finally comes down to just one game next Monday night when Alabama (SEC) and Clemson (ACC) face off for this year’s college football championship.  And ESPN will have full coverage of this year’s championship game.  Kickoff is set for 8:30pm ET on ESPN.  Chris Fowler will have the call for Monday night’s game, presented by AT&T.  He will be joined in the booth by Kirk Herbstreit.  Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi will also be on hand on the sidelines for additional commentary and reports throughout the game.

Those that won’t be near a TV Monday night can still catch the game as it will be simulcast on ESPN Radio and online via ESPNRadio.com, the ESPN app, SiriusXM, Apple iTunes Radio, Slacker Radio, and TuneIn.  Mike Tirico will have the call for the game’s broadcast on ESPN Radio.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Todd Blackledge.  Holly Rowe, Joe Schad, and Bill Lemonnier will all be on hand on the sidelines for additional commentary and reports for ESPN Radio throughout the game.  Additional information for Monday night’s broadcast of the College Football Championship will be announced as the week progresses.

As the days tick by and anticipation builds for this year’s College Football Championship, ESPN and the ESPN networks will have plenty of in-depth coverage ahead of the big game.  College Football Live will come live from the campus of both Alabama and Clemson.  It will also have a live broadcast from the University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of this year’s championship game.  Joe Tessitore will be live at Alabama’s campus.  He will be joined by analysts Mark May and Booger McFarland, and reporter Tom Rinaldi.  Chris Cotter will be live from Clemson alongside Danny Kanell and analyst Joey Galloway.  Reporters Samantha Ponder and Marty Smith will also be on hand for additional commentary and news.  On Friday, Chris Cotter will anchor College Football Live on site at the University of Phoenix Stadium.  He will be joined live by analysts Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, Mack Brown and Todd McShay, and contributor George Whitfield.  That broadcast will air Friday at 1:30pm ET on ESPN.

Along with broadcasts of College Football Live ESPN will also offer college football fans live editions of SportsCenter in the days leading up to the College Football Championship.  David Lloyd will host SportsCenter  Thursday at 1pm ET.  Lindsay Czarniak will host the 6pm edition of SportsCenter Thursday and Friday evening.  Thursday’s broadcast will air live from Alabama and Friday’s from Phoenix.  Saturday morning, SportsCenter will air live from College Football Playoff Media Day from 8am ET – 12:30pm ET.  Matt Barrie, Joe Tessitore will be on hand for the early edition of SportsCenter while John Anderson and John Buccigross will be on hand for the late edition of SportsCenter.  On Monday, SportsCenter will be live from 9am ET to 2:30 pm ET on-site from the University of Phoenix Stadium.  There will also be a follow-up edition of SportsCenter following the game.  Lindsay Czarniak will wrap SportsCenter’s coverage of the College Football Championship Tuesday night at 6pm ET.

The ESPN networks’ extensive coverage of the 2015 – 2016 College Football Championship includes not only coverage from its flagship news broadcast and one of its college football broadcast but also on Face To Face with Hannah Storm.  Monday afternoon at 2:30pm ET, Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will sit down with ESPN’s Hannah Storm for a special interview.  The coaches will discuss their respective teams’ seasons, the championship game, and much more in a special half-hour edition of the program.

Over on the radio side, Mike and Mike will broadcast on-site on Monday and Tuesday live from the University of Phoenix Stadium as will Rusillo and KanellMike and Mike will be simulcast both days from 6am ET to 10am ET on ESPN2. Rusillo & Kanell will air both days at 1pm ET live from Phoenix. As an additional bonus for fans NFL great Steve Smith, Jr. will join Golic and Greenie Friday morning on Mike and Mike. His appearance comes on the heels of his announcement that he will be returning to the Ravens in 2016 instead of retiring as he had previously announced. Smith will be live from 7:30am – 10am ET.

More information on the ESPN networks’ extensive coverage of the upcoming College Football Playoff Championship is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

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

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

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.