(August 16, 2013) - The Northeast Conference (NEC) has teamed up with a national carrier for its 2013 football on-air package. The Division I FCS conference and ESPN have reached an agreement to make ESPN3 the exclusive home of Northeast Conference football. The Sacred Heart Pioneers home game against NEC foe Duquesne will be featured as part of the package.
The deal features plans to carry five games this season on ESPN's live multi-screen sports network beginning with the Northeast Conference opener at defending champion Wagner on September 28. The Seahawks' bout against Bryant will be one of two appearances that the NEC preseason favorites will make on ESPN3. Wagner will also close out the conference on-air schedule on November 16 at Saint Francis.
"Collaborating with ESPN provides our NEC football institutions with a national platform of exposure through the 'worldwide leader in sports,'" said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. "It also connects us directly to the growing relationship that exists between the Football Championship Subdivision and ESPN in the areas of branding and production."
The Pioneer – Duquesne match-up with broadcast live from Campus Field in Fairfield. This will mark the third-straight season the Pioneers will host a NEC TV broadcast. Kick-off is scheduled for November 9th at 12 noon.
The NEC/ESPN3 agreement comes on the heels of one of the most fruitful seasons of the league's 18-year history of football. After a near-upset of FBS member Florida Atlantic, Wagner went on to win the Northeast Conference crown and carry the league's banner into the FCS playoffs. The Seahawks proceeded to deliver the league's first-ever NCAA FCS playoff victory, defeating Patriot League champion Colgate before scaring National No. 2 seed Eastern Washington in the Round of 16.
The 2013 package will welcome former NFL punter Jeff Feagles into the NEC's broadcast booth. The two-time Pro Bowler, who enjoyed a 22-year professional playing career, will provide color commentary on the coverage. Paul Dottino, a New York Giants beat reporter and NFL Network contributor, will return for what will be his 11th season handling play-by-play duties. For the fourth year in a row, John Schmeelk will serve as the sideline reporter for NEC football.
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and Apple TV. The network is currently available to more than 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational and on-base military networks.
Five Key Points to the NEC/ESPN3 Agreement
- The deal provides the NEC with a national platform on which to deliver its football games
- Fans will have access to five exciting matchups on ESPN3
- The games will be available in 85 million homes
- Fans can view the games on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app
- The NEC agreement adds to ESPN's expanding inventory of FCS content
2013 NEC Football Television Schedule
Sept. 28, Bryant at Wagner, 1:00 pm, ESPN3
Oct. 5, Saint Francis at Central Connecticut, 1:00 pm, ESPN3
Nov. 2, Bryant at Robert Morris, 12:00 pm, ESPN3
Nov. 9, Duquesne at Sacred Heart, 12:00 pm, ESPN3
Nov. 16, Wagner at Saint Francis, 12:00 pm, ESPN3