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Thursday, October 04, 2012 | Baseball, Men's Basketball, Volleyball, Women's Basketball
MVC Unveils 48-Telecast Package on ESPN Networks
ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley Conference will have a record 48-game telecast package on ESPN networks during the 2012-13 academic year, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today.
The Valley, which is in the second year of a five-year agreement with ESPN, will clear a record-number 30 men’s basketball telecasts on ESPN networks. ESPN will carry the events on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.
An additional 18 other MVC contests (volleyball in addition to women’s basketball and baseball) are featured on the package this year.
"ESPN’s commitment to The Valley is evident by the quantity and diversity of this package of telecasts," Elgin said.
"ESPN provides a national stage for our sports. And the creation and continued expansion of ESPNU as a nationalplatform and the emergence of ESPN3 only heightens the amount of national exposure for our league."
For the eighth-consecutive season, CBS Sports will air the title game of the MVC Men’s Basketball Championship. CBS, which purchased the rights from ESPN, will televise the contest on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. Central.
"Having the title game of Arch Madness shown on CBS Sports speaks for itself," said Elgin. "And, we look forward to our championship contest being televised on CBS Sports through the 2016 event."
The ESPN package begins with a bonus ESPN3 telecast, as Evansville visits Notre Dame on Saturday, Nov. 10.
The league has three additional bonus contests -- Wichita State at VCU (ESPNU) on Nov. 13, Saint Joseph’s at Creighton (ESPN3) on Dec. 1 and Creighton at Nebraska (ESPN3) on Dec. 6.
Three Valley schools are competing in ESPN-televised multi-team events near or during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The league’s regular-season ESPN2 men’s basketball slate, which is simulcast on WatchESPN.com, includes Creighton at Wichita State on Jan. 19, Wichita State at UNI on Feb. 2, Illinois State at Creighton on Feb. 9 and a Wildcard Weekend selection on March 2.
ESPNU will also televise men’s basketball games -- Michigan at Bradley on Dec. 1, Wichita State at Bradley on Jan. 6, Creighton at Evansville on Feb. 16 and Wichita State at Illinois State on Feb. 17 -- and a yet-to-be-determined baseball tilt.
For three of its ESPNU men’s hoops telecasts, ESPN will utilize a Wildcard selection process, picking from a pair of games on each date three weeks prior to air. The games not selected for airing on ESPNU will be carried on ESPN3.
Those dates are Jan. 20 (Drake at UNI or Illinois State at Southern Illinois), Jan. 27 (Creighton at SIU or Drake at Missouri State) and Feb. 10 (UNI at Bradley or Drake at Evansville).
"We have successfully utilized the Wildcard selection process for ESPN games since 2008," said Jack R. Watkins, MVC Associate Commissioner. "The Wildcard process provides the flexibility necessary to showcase our best match-ups on those dates for distribution on ESPN’s television networks."
The league will also feature events on ESPN3 -- ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
That package includes four men’s basketball games (UNI at Creighton on Jan. 15, Illinois State at Wichita State on Jan. 16, Missouri State at UNI on Feb. 5 and Wichita State at Indiana State on Feb. 19) and a women’s basketball contest (Illinois State at Wichita State on Feb. 1).
The ESPN3 schedule also features four matches from the 2012 MVC Women’s Volleyball Championship on Nov. 22-23 and a minimum of 12 games from the 2013 MVC Baseball Tournament on May 21-24.
It will mark the second-straight year the baseball tournament will be carried on ESPN3 and a first for the league’s volleyball championship.
"ESPN3 is an emerging technology that allows our fans to watch our games via the internet as well as mobile devices," Watkins said. "ESPN3 provides league fans the opportunity to catch our events anywhere in the country."
All ten Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball teams will also compete in the 11th annual BracketBusters series on Feb. 22-23, 2013.
The Valley schools will compete in the two-day event, with the televised package of games to be announced on Jan. 28.
Five games will be aired on ESPN2, four contests will be televised on ESPNU and four matchups will be shown on ESPN3.
Drake, Indiana State, UNI, Southern Illinois and Wichita State will serve as host schools for BracketBusters, while Bradley, Creighton, Evansville, Illinois State and Missouri State will play on the road.