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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday's game not being moved from ESPNU

ESPN officials were adamant that Sunday's potentially history-making UConn women's basketball game against Ohio State will air on ESPNU even if that means that some people in the state won't be able to watch the game because their cable companies don't carry ESPNU.

Make no mistake, great strides have been made in the area of getting ESPNU carried by more cable providers but the fact is that there are those who will not be able to watch the game because they do not have ESPNU. ESPN spokesperson Rachel Margolis said on Thursday's conference call that there are no plans to move the game to ESPN2 (although if UConn wins on Sunday, Tuesday's game against Florida State will be shifted from ESPNU to ESPN2).

"You have to consider that ESPNU is in 73 million homes and it is a network dedicated to college sports," said ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Tina Thornton. "This is a huge college sports moment and it is in a significant amount of homes. I guess people can say all they want about where we put it but I think it is a great place to put it and a great vehicle to deliver a great game."

If UConn wins on Sunday, there will be a five-hour block of all UConn all the time on ESPNU from 1-6 p.m. followed by an hour-long pre-game show on site at the XL Center.

"There are so many plans to talk about the streak, to deal with the streak over the weekend and some real unique programming opportunities not only in studio but on SportsCenter, on ESPNU and all kinds of other places," Thornton said. "We really put a lot of resources and efforts just like we would do for any other historical event. This opportunity we have this weekend as well as early next week is going to be a great opportunity and I think you are going to see a lot of elements about this streak, about UCLA, about John Wooden, about Geno, about the UConn team, about women's basketball that are going to be a real positive experience for everybody."

Of course if Ohio State wins, there will be no pre-game hype leading into the FSU game.

Just out of curiousity I looked at what was on the schedule for ESPN2 from 2:30-5 p.m., the block when UConn's game will be aired on ESPNU. This is what I found:

2:30-3: 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season in Review
3-3:30: 2010 NHRA Thrills & Spills
3:30-5: 2010 World Series of Poker

I find it interesting that ESPN would bump a North Carolina men's basketball game off ESPN2 as it will do if UConn goes for No. 89 in a row on Tuesday but would not do the same with some auto racing highlight packages and the World Series of Poker which the network has a window up until 7 p.m. to televise the card-playing extravaganza before showing the Tennessee/Stanford game.


Anonymous UConn Steve said...

Thanks for the update.

Glad that more people will be able to view the FSU game - IF the Huskies end up with at least 1 More Point than that team from the Leaders Division of the Big Ten.

Glad that Doris Burke will call the UConn game.

6:37 PM 

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