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Somerset, NJ - Northeast Conference (NEC) football will be back on the airwaves this fall, and for the first time ever, it will be available in high-definition. NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris finalized a five-game television schedule that guarantees all nine league members at least one exposure during the coming 2011 season and incorporates the league's inaugural HD broadcasts.
The first three games will air regionally in high-definition on Madison Square Garden (MSG) Network along with a host of local networks. The final two games of the package are set to air nationally on Fox College Sports (FCS), which is available to digital cable subscribers in 56 million homes, and via broadband on ESPN3.
"The 2011 Northeast Conference football season is slated to be extremely competitive and exciting, and we are thrilled to showcase our talented student-athletes and coaches in broadcasts on MSG, FCS and ESPN3 as well as numerous local carriers," said Morris. "In addition, we are pleased to announce the enhancement of our TV package by broadcasting each of our first three games in HD."
The television schedule kicks off under the lights in Fairfield, CT as Sacred Heart hosts Bryant on September 16 at 7:00 pm. MSG+ and Cox Sports (CT/RI) are slated to carry the broadcast live in HD.
The following week, Saint Francis (PA) entertains Duquesne in a Saturday night affair on September 24 at 7:00 pm. The game will air live regionally in HD on MSG+ and via delay on Root Sports (formerly FSN-Pittsburgh) on October 3 at 6:00 pm.
The NEC has once again partnered with a number of local networks to widen the package's exposure and ensure all hometown fans can access the broadcast. To that end, PCNC in Pittsburgh and Fox8 in Johnstown/Altoona will carry the Duquesne-Saint Francis (PA) game live.
The package continues with the first matinee of the season when 2010 FCS playoff participant Robert Morris invades the Jersey Shore for a date with Monmouth on October 1 at 12:00 pm. In addition to airing live in HD on MSG+, the contest will be made available locally in Pittsburgh on PCNC. Root Sports will show the game on delay on October 3 at 9:00 pm in the second half of an NEC gridiron block.
Wagner welcomes upstate rival Albany to Staten Island for the NEC's first FCS national broadcast of the season on October 29 at 12:00 pm. Albany fans in the Capital Region will be able to watch the game locally via tape delay (date & time TBA) on Time Warner Channel 3 (TWC 3).
The five-game package comes to a close on Saturday, November 5 when the two 2010 NEC co-champions clash in New Britain, CT at 12:00 pm. Preseason NEC favorite Central Connecticut State and Robert Morris will meet before a nationwide audience on FCS, with local carriers PCNC (Pittsburgh) and Cox Sports (CT) also airing the contest. Root Sports will re-air the game on November 7 at 7:00 pm.
The NEC has also partnered with ESPN to carry the final two games - Albany at Wagner (Oct. 29) and Robert Morris at CCSU (Nov. 5) - on ESPN3, the network's broadband network for live and on-demand sports programming. The broadcasts may also air on ESPN GamePlan.
Last season the NEC's football television package, which debuted in 2003, expanded to a five-game schedule that ensures all nine teams receive at least one exposure.
Paul Dottino enters his ninth season as the play-by-play voice of NEC football. He is also a member of the NEC basketball broadcast team and the New York Giants gameday reporter with the WFAN/Giants Radio Network. Former Cal quarterback Steve Levy will provide color commentary for the second straight season. Eric Singer is the producer of NEC football telecasts.
2011 Northeast Conference Football Television Schedule
Date Matchup Time Broadcast Outlet
Friday, Sept. 16 Bryant at Sacred Heart 7:00 pm MSG+ (HD), Cox Sports CT/RI (HD)
Saturday, Sept. 24 Duquesne at Saint Francis (PA) 7:00 pm MSG+ (HD), PCNC Pittsburgh, Fox8 Johnstown/Altoona (HD),
Root Sports Pittsburgh (tape delay, 10/3 - 6:00 pm, HD)
Saturday, Oct. 1 Robert Morris at Monmouth 12:00 pm MSG+ (HD), PCNC Pittsburgh,
Root Sports Pittsburgh (tape delay, 10/3 - 9:00 pm, HD)
Saturday, Oct. 29 Albany at Wagner 12:00 pm Fox College Sports, TWC3 Albany (tape delay - TBD), ESPN3
Saturday, Nov. 5 Robert Morris at CCSU 12:00 pm Fox College Sports, PCNC Pittsburgh, Cox Sports CT (HD),
ESPN3, Root Sports Pittsburgh (tape delay, 11/7 - 7:00 pm)
About The Northeast Conference
Now entering 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.