Aug. 18, 2008
UC Athletics, the BIG EAST, and Local 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati are joining forces to expand the Bearcats and BIG EAST brand in the Tri-State.
After one season on CinCW, the digital sister station of Local 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, WKRC announced today it extended its partnership with the BIG EAST Conference and moved the syndicated "Football Game of the Week" package to Local 12 starting with the 2008 football season.
In addition to the BIG EAST centric programming, Local 12 and UC Athletics will also join forces to produce weekly, two-minute personality features on Bearcats student-athletes as part of their local news programming. These vignettes will focus on telling the story of the more than 500 men and women who wear the Red & Black.
"We are extremely proud to work in partnership with the BIG EAST and the University of Cincinnati, said Les Vann, Vice President and General Manager of Local 12 WKRC. "This is another cornerstone of our commitment to provide high quality, high profile local programming."
"As the BIG EAST Conference continues to cement its name as the premiere college athletics conference in the nation, it is important we continue to grow the product locally in Cincinnati," said UC Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "With the BIG EAST package being on Local 12 WKRC, our fans across the Tri-State will have expanded comprehensive coverage of "Cincinnati's team - the Bearcats." We appreciate the work done by Les Van and all of our partners at WKRC as well as Dan Shoemaker, Bob Helmers and the staff at ESPN, and John Mason and the ISP Sports team who all came together to make this package happen."
"We are excited that that WKRC and the BIG EAST have once again partnered to bring sports fans in the Tri-State the best of BCS (Bowl Championship Series) football," said head coach Brian Kelly. "For a city like Cincinnati, it is important to give our fans, which are so loyal to the local teams, the opportunity to follow us all season long as we compete for a BIG EAST championship and a spot in a BCS bowl game."
Local 12 has earned the reputation of the "Sports Authority" for Cincinnati fans, covering the best pro, college and prep sports in the Tri-State. WKRC is the home of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the Masters, the US Open Tennis Championships, the NFL and the Cincinnati Bengals games, including the Voice of the Bengals, Local 12 Sports Director Brad Johansen and Cincinnati's only female sports reporter, Tara Pachmayer.
Another groundbreaking element of this partnership will be a strong commitment to promoting UC women's sports and its CATWOMENDO marketing program. Pachmayer will anchor these segments beginning in September, 2008 along with Jen Dalton, who hosted Bearcats Nation on CinCW last year.
"Cincinnatians want to know their sports personalities on a personal level and we are excited that Local 12's commitment to getting the story behind the story will now also focus on UC sports" says Senior Associate Director of Athletics Mike Waddell. "The CATWOMENDO brand covers each of our 10 women's sports at UC, along with signature events like the Women's Cross-town Shootout and the upcoming State Farm/Vernon Manor Bearcat Invitational for our volleyball program. Tara has a knack for telling interesting stories about athletes and her involvement with this program will be a major boost to getting the word out about these great programs."
Other UC targeted programming will include exclusive live, local coverage of UC's basketball tip-off event in October and Bearcat Bowl III, tentatively set for Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m.
The BIG EAST basketball broadcast schedule is still being finalized and will be announced later this fall. A local broadcast partner for that package will be announced at a later date.
In addition to the BIG EAST's partnership, the Cincinnati Department of Athletics will be working in association with Local 12 WKRC to bring UC fans enhanced Bearcats' coverage throughout the year through new and innovative packages.
BIG EAST football games will air this fall on Saturday at Noon on Local 12 beginning with Pittsburgh at Syracuse on Sept. 27, 2007. The weekly schedule will be comprised of multiple game options with a determination to be made regarding the exact game to be aired no less than 12 days prior to the broadcast date.
Other games that will be part of the potential BIG EAST football schedule on Local 12 include Rutgers at Cincinnati (Oct. 11), Cincinnati at Connecticut (Oct. 25), Cincinnati at West Virginia (Nov. 8), Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (Nov. 22). UC will be featured on this package Syracuse at Cincinnati (Nov. 29).
This is the second major television announcement from UC Athletics in the last 10 days. Last week UC announced an exclusive cable broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Net Ohio which will include a minimum of 12 men's basketball games; two women's basketball games; preseason and postseason specials for football and basketball; season-long football and basketball coaches' shows; plus an extensive schedule of BIG EAST football and basketball games. Additional future programming will be crafted as well, including the airing of classic UC games and other special event broadcasts to be determined at a later date.
ESPN Regional/BIG EAST Game of the Week
Ten BIG EAST contests will be broadcast by ESPN Regional Television as part of its BIG EAST Game of the Week package. The following dates and games were scheduled as of July 29, 2008. Many picks will be made later in the season as 12-day selections (schedule subject to change). All ERT/BIG EAST Games of the Week will start at noon Eastern.
Sat. Sept. 27 PITTSBURGH at SYRACUSE
Sat. Oct. 4 RUTGERS at WEST VIRGINIA
Sat. Oct. 11 SYRACUSE at WEST VIRGINIA or RUTGERS at CINCINNATI
Sat. Oct. 18 SYRACUSE at USF or CONNECTICUT at RUTGERS
Sat. Oct. 25 TBD
Sat. Nov. 1 LOUISVILLE at SYRACUSE or WEST VIRGINIA at CONNECTICUT
Sat. Nov. 8 TBD
Sat. Nov. 15 CONNECTICUT at SYRACUSE or RUTGERS at USF
Sat. Nov. 22 PITTSBURGH at CINCINNATI or WEST VIRGINIA at LOUISVILLE
Sat. Nov. 29 SYRACUSE at CINCINNATI
BIG EAST Games in CAPS.