ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley Conference will have a 46-game telecast package on ESPN networks during the 2013-14 academic year, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today.
The Valley, which is in the third year of a five-year agreement with ESPN, will clear 26 men’s basketball telecasts on ESPN networks. ESPN will carry the events on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.
An additional 20 other MVC contests (volleyball in addition to women’s basketball and baseball) are featured on the package this year.
"Through its various platforms, ESPN provides us with an essential national promotional vehicle," Elgin said.
"Our institutions recognized the importance of ESPNU and ESPN3 in the formative days of both outlets, and as a result, ESPN has rewarded the league with heightened exposure."
For the ninth-consecutive season, CBS Sports will air the title game of the MVC Men’s Basketball Championship. CBS, which sublicenses the rights from ESPN, will televise the contest on Sunday, March 9, at 1 p.m. Central.
"Having the championship game of your men’s basketball tournament shown on CBS Sports speaks for itself," said Elgin. "The Arch Madness final starts postseason conference tournament coverage for CBS Sports, and we are grateful to be part of the excitement that builds toward Selection Sunday (March 16)."
The ESPN package begins with an ESPN2 telecast, as 2013 NCAA Final Four semifinalist Wichita State plays host to Western Kentucky at midnight on Monday, Nov. 11, as part of ESPN’s sixth annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Wichita State, which finished fourth nationally in the final 2013 coaches poll and posted a 30-9 record, will also play host to Tennesee in an ESPN2 telecast on Dec. 14 from Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita.
The league also has three additional non-conference contests on ESPN platforms -- VCU at UNI (ESPNU) on Dec. 14, Wichita State at Alabama (ESPNU) on Dec. 17 and Missouri State at Louisville (ESPN2) on Dec. 17.
WSU also competes in the CBE Classic in Kansas City, playing DePaul (ESPN3) on Nov. 25 and either Texas or BYU on either ESPN2 or ESPNU on Nov. 26.
Wichita State will play host to Indiana State on Saturday, Jan. 18, in a game that has been selected as a netflex contest for airing on either ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN will select the network by Friday, Jan. 10.
The league’s regular-season ESPN2 men’s basketball slate, which is simulcast on WatchESPN.com, also includes Wichita State at UNI on Feb. 8 and a Wildcard Weekend selection on March 1.
ESPNU will televise six men’s basketball games -- Indiana State at Evansville on Jan. 4, Missouri State at UNI on Jan. 18, Evansville at Wichita State on Feb. 1, UNI at Missouri State on Feb. 15, Indiana State at Missouri State on Feb. 22 and a Wildcard Weekend selection on March 1 -- and two yet-to-be-determined telecasts.
"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 networks."
"On Saturday, March 1, we will have two Wildcard games (noon on ESPNU and 3 p.m. on ESPN2), and all five contests will be available to ESPN for selection," Watkins said.
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, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE and on Apple TV.
That package includes ten men’s basketball games (Wichita State at Southern Illinois on Jan. 2, Wichita State at Missouri State on Jan. 11, Missouri State at Indiana State on Jan. 15, Evansville at UNI on Jan. 29, Indiana State at UNI on Feb. 1, Bradley at Loyola on Feb. 6, Illinois State at Loyola on Feb. 9, Drake at Missouri State on Feb. 12, Evansville at Indiana State on Feb. 19 and Wichita State at Bradley on Feb. 25) and two women’s basketball contests (Bradley at Loyola on Jan. 19 and Missouri State at Indiana State on Jan. 25).
The ESPN3 schedule also features four matches from the 2013 MVC Women’s Volleyball Championship in Wichita, Kan., on Nov. 28-29 and a minimum of 12 games from the 2014 MVC Baseball Tournament in Terre Haute, Ind., on May 20-23.
It will mark the third-straight year the baseball tournament will be carried on ESPN3 and a second-consecutive season for the league’s volleyball championship.
"ESPN3 is a point of emphasis for ESPN," Watkins said. "Through our relationship, we are able to deliver tournament coverage to our fans who can watch our games on digital platforms."