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Friday, 24 April 2015 16:03

ESPN Announces Historic Live Television Coverage Schedule for NCAA DI Outdoor Championships

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Fans of collegiate track & field have long clamored for national, primetime television exposure – particularly for the sport’s crown jewel event, the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The wait is over: On June 10-13 from Eugene, Oregon, the Championships – featuring star-studded teams and world-class athletes – will take center stage on ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

The Championships’ first-ever ESPN and ESPN2 primetime broadcasts on Friday and Saturday were announced as part of network’s 12-hour live television programming schedule for all four days of the meet.

{UNIVERSAL}Additionally, for the first time all field events and combined events (decathlon and heptathlon) throughout the four days will be covered live online via ESPN3.

View the full ESPN release here.

The men’s finals on Friday will be broadcast live on ESPN, followed the next day by the women’s finals on ESPN2. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s competition will be carried live on ESPNU.

Combining both the television and online broadcasts, more than 35 hours of live NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships coverage is scheduled to air. Past broadcasts included only 11 total hours of live coverage.

Broadcast times are listed in the graphic below, which can be enlarged by clicking it.

ESPN Broadcast Schedule
CLICK FOR LARGER VERSION

“There’s no better showcase for collegiate track & field than to be featured in primetime on ESPN and ESPN2,” USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes said. “Our many fans will have their easiest access ever to what is year-in and year-out the premier track & field meet in the United States, and year-in and year-out one of the best meets in the world.

“For the many future fans of the sport we’ll be reaching in homes, restaurants and sports bars, and elsewhere around the country, this will be their first exposure to the incredible drama of our team and individual competitions. From witnessing the ‘see-it-to-believe-it’ feats of speed, endurance, strength and flight, to cheering for the familiar colors of their schools – there will be something for everyone who tunes in.”

In years past, only running events on the final two days of competition had been televised on ESPNU, with supplementary coverage – also primarily of the running events – streamed online via ESPN3.

Opening the door for ESPN’s expanded coverage of the NCAA Outdoor Championships was the announcement in February of the new schedule format for this year’s and next year’s Championships.

Under this format, the men’s and women’s Championships will be contested on alternating days – allowing for a more streamlined showcase of both genders’ top teams and athletes as they compete for national titles.

“Coaches and administrators from schools around the country came together and made the bold decision to change how we contest our championships,” Seemes said, “And within the same year we are already reaping the benefits of that change. While our sport is rooted in its many traditions, this is just one prime example that openness to change is key to allowing our sport to truly grow and flourish.”

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