November 6, 2013

NEC Announces 2013-14 Television Package; Pioneers Slated for five broadcasts

Full NEC Release

SOMERSET, N.J. (November 6, 2013)—The Northeast Conference announced the 2013-14 men's and women's basketball television schedule Wednesday afternoon. Every broadcast in the NEC's 29-game 2013-14 television package will be distributed nationally, half of which will also air via the league's growing network of regional partners.

Among the highlights are:

-       Every single game will air nationally via ESPN, Fox College Sports (FCS) or the NEC's newest national partner, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)

-       An expanded women's package will be carried by ESPN3

-       The schedule features a record 19 prime time games

-       Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE) has been added as a regional partner

-       Longtime NEC regional partner MSG will broadcast 11 games, including three NEC men's tournament contests

-       Up to seven NEC Tournament games will air on a variety of networks

-       All NEC television games will be broadcast in HD

"The NEC's commitment to promoting its marquee sport of basketball is clearly evident in this year's television and digital packages," said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner.  "Not only have we enhanced our official collaboration with ESPN through increased exposures on ESPN3, but we have secured national distribution of all 29 television games including one with CBS Sports Network.  To complement the national broadcasts, fans can access all other NEC home basketball games free of charge on NEC Front Row."

SHU men's hoops will be featured three times throughout the year, twice at home and once on the road. On January 25, the Pioneers will be on FCS, CSNNE and ESPN3 while on the road at Saint Francis U. Sacred Heart's two televised home games will be on January 29 at 6:00 p.m. against St. Francis Brooklyn, which will air on MSG and FCS, and February 6 at 9:00 p.m. against Mount St. Mary's airing on FCS, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and ESPN3.

This year's NEC-TV slate features the return of the "wildcard" game.  On the final Thursday of the regular season (February 27), one of the following men's matchups with playoff implications will be carried at 7:00 pm on ESPN3: Bryant-St. Francis Brooklyn, CCSU-LIU Brooklyn, FDU-Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's-Sacred Heart or Saint Francis U-Wagner.

The Sacred Heart women's team will be on ESPN3 twice this season, once at home and once on the road. Their first broadcast will be the conference-opener , and rematch of last year's semi-final game, against Saint Francis U on January 4 at 2:00 p.m. Then, on February 10 when the Pioneers make the road trip to Pittsburgh, SHU will once again be on ESPN3 when they take on the Robert Morris Colonials in what is sure to be a great matchup.

Come the postseason, MSG+2, FCS and Root Sports (Pittsburgh) have agreed to carry an NEC men's quarterfinal game on March 5, and MSG+ and FCS will televise both men's semifinals games on March 8.  The NEC women's semifinals are tentatively slated to air on ESPN3 on March 12 at 7:00 pm.

As part of the network's Championship Week coverage, the NEC men's title game runs live on ESPN or ESPN2 for the 27th straight year on Tuesday, March 11th at 7:00 pm.  For the seventh year running, ESPNU is the home to the NEC Women's Championship game.  This year's title game is scheduled for Sunday, March 16th at 3:00 pm. 

Now in his 14th season, Dave Popkin will serve as the primary play-by-play announcer on men's broadcasts, with Paul Dottino (15th year) filling in.  Tim Capstraw (15th year), Terry O'Connor (12th year) and Joe DeSantis (seventh year) will split color analyst duties.  Dottino and John Schmeelk (third year) are the NEC's sideline reporters.

Dottino will once again serve as the play-by-play voice of women's telecasts.  Former St. Francis Brooklyn head coach Brenda Milano joins the women's broadcast team as a color analyst, joining Pam Roecker, now in her 12th year with the league.