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Somerset, NJ -- Highlighted by the league’s inaugural HD broadcasts and an expanded national package, the Northeast Conference (NEC) today announced a 23-game television schedule for the 2011-12 season.
The 2011-12 package is comprised of 18 men’s games and five women’s contests, including four men/women doubleheaders. The Conference will receive ten prime time exposures and four NEC Tournament games are on tap in March.
Most notably, there are five national broadcasts scheduled on the ESPN family of networks, including the NEC Men’s and Women’s Championship games. ESPNU is also slated to air a pair of marquee regular season contests. The first is an all-New York affair on January 21st as defending NEC champion Long Island visits Wagner for a 7:00 pm tipoff. On the final day of the regular season (February 25th), Quinnipiac hosts Robert Morris, two teams that have had classic NEC playoff battles the last two years. Tipoff is at 11:00 am.
The NEC will also partner with ESPN3, the network’s broadband network for live and on-demand sports programming. ESPN3 will exclusively broadcast the Robert Morris-Quinnipiac women’s matchup on February 25th at 1:30 pm, and pick up a number of games over the course of the regular season and playoffs. These games may also air on the ESPN Full Court package.
The lineup also features 18 regionally produced games, of which 16 will air in high-definition. Longtime partner Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) will serve as the NEC’s flagship network, with games also airing on Fox College Sports (FCS), Root Sports (Pittsburgh), Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), Cox Sports (CT/RI) and WWCP Fox 8 (Altoona/Johnstown).
“We are thrilled to announce the 2011-12 television package, which includes an expanded number of games for both our men’s and women’s basketball programs,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “In addition to a comprehensive regional package, we are excited to increase our exposure on the ESPN family of networks and offer NEC basketball fans live broadcasts in HD. The 2011-12 NEC basketball season is expected to be extremely exciting and competitive, and we thank our television partners for enabling us to celebrate our programs at the regional and national levels.”
MSG/MSG+ plan to televise 13 games this season starting with the first game of the package on Thursday, December 1 when Bryant takes on Central Connecticut State in Smithfield, RI. Perhaps the most anticipated game of the package is a prime-time rematch of the 2011 NEC title game as Long Island travels to Robert Morris on January 26th.
Come the postseason, MSG will air both NEC men’s semifinal playoff games on March 4th at 12 and 6:00 pm. Additional regional networks may also broadcast the semifinals pending the matchups. As part of the network’s Championship Week coverage, the NEC men’s title game runs live on ESPN2 for the 25th straight year on Wednesday, March 7th at 7:00 pm. For the fifth year running, ESPNU is set to air the NEC Women’s Championship game on Sunday, March 11th at 3:00 pm.
NEC Rivalry Week will be prominently featured within the package with four games airing in five days from February 8-12. Rivalry Week tips off on February 8th with the Garden State Rivalry Series as Fairleigh Dickinson hosts Monmouth on FCS, and follows with an MSG tripleheader on February 12th. Leading off the day will be the Connecticut Collision as Quinnipiac visits Central Connecticut State at noon, followed by a Battle of Brooklyn doubleheader pitting Long Island and St. Francis (NY) at the WRAC in Brooklyn. The women tip at 2:00 pm and the men at 4:30 pm.
The NEC will once again partner with Fox College Sports to air five games on its Atlantic, Central or Pacific regional channels. FCS games are also picked up on DirecTV.
Root Sports, formerly FSN-Pittsburgh, is set to broadcast six games live or on delay, including the aforementioned LIU-Robert Morris clash on January 26th. MASN will pick up a pair of Mount St. Mary’s games, Cox Sports has scheduled five NEC games involving Bryant or Central Connecticut State and WWCP Fox 8 (Johnstown/Altoona) plans to televise Saint Francis (PA)’s doubleheader with Sacred Heart on February 25th.
Now in his 12th season, Dave Popkin will serve as the primary play-by-play announcer on men’s broadcasts, with Paul Dottino (13th year) and Matt Harmon (third year) filling in. Tim Capstraw (13th year), Terry O’Connor (tenth year) and Joe DeSantis (fifth year) will split color analyst duties. Dottino and John Schmeelk (second year) are set to handle sideline duties during men’s games.
Dottino will once again serve as the play-by-play voice of women’s telecasts. Pam Roecker, now in her tenth season, and former Seton Hall coach Phyllis Mangina will serve as analysts for women’s broadcasts.
Eric Singer is the longtime Producer of NEC basketball telecasts.
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 31st year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Long Island, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. Bryant will become the NEC’s 12th member upon completion of the NCAA Division I reclassification process in 2012. For more information on the NEC, visit www.northeastconference.org.
Northeast Conference 2011-12 Basketball Television Schedule
Day Date Opponents Time HD Carrier
Thur. Dec. 1 CCSU at Bryant (men) 7:00 pm * MSG+, Cox Sports (CT/RI)
Sat. Jan. 7 Wagner at Monmouth (men) 12:00 pm * MSG+
Wagner at Monmouth (women) 3:00 pm * FCS, ESPN3, ESPN FC
Sat. Jan. 21 Long Island at Wagner (men) 7:00 pm # ESPNU, ESPN3
Thur. Jan. 26 Long Island at Robert Morris (men) 7:00 pm * MSG, Root
Thur. Feb. 2 Robert Morris at Wagner (men) 7:00 pm * MSG, Root
NEC Rivalry Week (February 8-15)
Wed. Feb. 8 Monmouth at FDU (men) 7:00 pm FCS, ESPN3^
Sun. Feb. 12 Quinnipiac at CCSU (men) 12:00 pm * MSG, FCS, Cox Sports (CT)
St. Francis (NY) at Long Island (women) 2:00 pm * MSG, FCS
St. Francis (NY) at Long Island (men) 4:30 pm * MSG, FCS
Thur. Feb. 16 FDU at Mount St. Mary’s (men) 7:00 pm FCS, MASN, ESPN3^
Sat. Feb. 18 Sacred Heart at St. Francis (NY) (men) 7:00 pm * MSG, FCS
Bryant at Saint Francis (PA) (men) 11:30 am * MSG, FCS, Root (TD - 2/22 at 9 pm),
Cox Sports (CT/RI) (TD - 2/19 at 3 pm)
Bryant at Saint Francis (PA) (women) 2:30 pm * FCS, ESPN3^, Root (TD - 2/22 at 7 pm),
Cox Sports CT/RI (TD - 2/19 at 5 pm)
Thur. Feb. 23 Mount St. Mary’s at CCSU (men) 7:00 pm * MSG, FCS, Cox Sports (CT/RI), MASN (TD - 9 pm)
Sat. Feb. 25 Robert Morris at Quinnipiac (men) 11:00 am # ESPNU, ESPN3
Robert Morris at Quinnipiac (women) 1:30 pm # ESPN3
Saint Francis (PA) at Sacred Heart (men) 12:00 pm * MSG+, FCS, Fox8 (WWCP),
Root (TD - 2/29 at 8 pm)
Saint Francis (PA) at Sacred Heart (women) 3:00 pm * FCS, ESPN3^, Fox8 (WWCP),
Root (TD - 2/29 at 6 pm)
Sun. Mar. 4 NEC Men’s Semifinal #1 12:00 pm * MSG
NEC Men’s Semifinal #2 6:00 pm * MSG
Wed. Mar. 7 NEC Men’s Basketball Championship 7:00 pm * ESPN2, ESPN3
Sun. Mar. 11 NEC Women’s Basketball Championship 3:00 pm * ESPNU, ESPN3
TD - Tape Delay
^ Certain ESPN3 games are tentative and will be confirmed by the network on a week-by-week basis;
some may also appear on ESPN Full Court package
# HD still to be determined
Carrier Region Households
MSG MSG Network Three states in NY metro area 11.5 million
MASN Mid-Atlantic Sports Network MD, DE, VA and DC, plus portions of PA, WV and NC 6.6 million
Root Sports Root Sports - Pittsburgh Western PA, portions of WV, OH and MD 2.4 million
Cox Cox Sports Connecticut & Rhode Island 450,000
WWCP-Fox8 Fox Affiliate Johnstown/Altoona, PA 300,000
FCS Fox College Sports Digital cable systems (Atlantic, Central & Pacific feeds) NA
ESPNU Nationwide 74 million
ESPN2 Nationwide 100 million
ESPN 3 Broadband network for live ESPN programming 65 million
ESPN FC ESPN Full Court Nationwide PPV Package