Ferris to be on ESPN3

BIG RAPIDS — For the fifth consecutive year, the Ferris State University football program has been selected to compete in the NCAA Division II National TV Showcase “Game of the Week” this fall as the Bulldogs’ Sept. 14 road showdown against Central Washington will be televised on ESPN3.

Kickoff for the non-league tilt between the two national powers has been moved up to 4:05 p.m (Pacific) or 7:05 p.m. (Eastern) in Ellensburg, Wash.

Fans can watch the game on ESPN.com and the ESPN App across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected streaming devices.

The trip to Washington will represent the longest trip in school history for the Bulldogs.

NCAA Division II today announced the 18 regular-season football games that will be showcased live on ESPN3 or NCAA social media as part of a media agreement intented to highlight Division II athletics events on several platforms throughout the academic year. The first 18 games of the football showcase are predetermined games, 16 of which are conference matchups. An additional four flex games — intended to highlight crucial matchups — will be finalized later in the season and played in November.

“It’s exciting to see our program continue to receive increased nationwide exposure year after year and reflects positively on what we’ve accomplished here at Ferris State,” said FSU head coach Tony Annese. “The GLIAC continues to be one of the top Division II conferences in the country and the opportunity to showcase our program and our conference on this platform is outstanding.”

This year will mark the fifth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have participated in the Division II National Showcase after a Bulldog home game was showcased each of the past four years.

Four years ago, the Bulldogs’ home tilt against Michigan Tech was part of the previous D2 national agreement with the American Sports Network while the 2016 home outing against Ashland was also featured by ASN. In 2017, the Bulldogs had two games featured on ESPN3, including both the road matchup at Ashland and the Anchor-Bone Classic home tilt versus archrival Grand Valley State. Last season, Ferris State’s home outing against Ashland was the featured matchup.

Now in its second year, the division’s media agreement features two distribution models for football and basketball. For football, 11 games will be streamed on ESPN3, available on the ESPN app. The remaining 11 football games are part of the hybrid model, and they have the flexibility to be distributed on TV and online. The division will work with the TV partners of participating conferences and schools on the opportunity to air games on TV.

These games also will be distributed online through NCAA social media accounts — specifically, Division II Facebook (facebook.com/ncaadivisionii) and Twitter (@NCAADII) — and could be distributed through conference or school digital networks.

“It’s always exciting to begin a new academic year and the start of the Division II season,” said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. “We’re looking forward to highlighting the teams that will be featured in the football showcase and promoting the Division II brand on several platforms for fans to see across the country.”

Games included in the scheduled were broadcasts were selected from a pool of conference nominations. Of the 16 football-sponsoring conferences in Division II, 15 will be featured in at least one game.

One conference declined to participate due to an existing media rights agreement.

Of the teams competing in the slate of games, 15 appeared in the 2018 Division II playoffs, and 15 begin the 2019 season ranked in the top 25 of the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll.

“The football showcase features several great teams and matchups,” said Daryl Dickey, chair of the Division II Football Committee and athletics director at West Georgia. “It’s always fun to follow Division II football and celebrate our student-athletes for their excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually.

It is accessible on ESPN.com and the ESPN App across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected streaming devices.

The network is available at no additional cost to fans who receive a pay TV subscription from an affiliated provider. The network is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

 

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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