ESPN Plus


ESPN Plus

Infobox Network
network_name = ESPN Plus
network_
country = United States
network_type =
available = Regional
owner = The Walt Disney Company (80%)
Hearst Corporation (20%)
key_people = George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc.
Pete Derzis, GM, Sr. VP, ESPN Regional Televisionlaunch_date =
founder =
past_names = Creative Sports; Ohlmeyer Communications Corporation
website = http://www.espn-plus.com/

ESPN Plus is the popular name of ESPN Regional Television, which is an American television program syndicator. ERT is based (along with ESPNU) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to its purchase by ESPN, this sports package's syndicator was known as Creative Sports, which in turn merged with Don Ohlmeyer's self-titled Ohlmeyer Communication Corporation (OCC).

ESPN Plus produces and syndicates the following telecasts:
*Big East Conference football and men's college basketball;
*Big 12 Conference basketball (under the name "Big 12 Network" beginning in the 2008-09 season). [ [http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=1523043 Big 12 Men's Basketball Television Frequently Asked Questions] ]
*Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball (under the name "Jayhawk Television Network" for games broadcast only on local Kansas television affiliates). [ [http://kuathletics.cstv.com/genrel/062306aac.html KSNT-TV Becomes Jayhawk Television Network Affiliate in Topeka ] ]
*Mid-American Conference football;
*Sun Belt Conference football;
*University of Oregon football and basketball (select games) (under the name Oregon Sports Network);
*Western Athletic Conference football and men's basketball.

In the past, ESPN Plus also carried Conference USA, Mountain West Conference and Big Ten Conference football and basketball games at one point, but no longer does. Broadcast rights to C-USA football and basketball games not selected by ESPN are owned by CBS College Sports Network. Broadcast rights to MWC football and basketball games are owned by CBS College Sports and are carried by Versus, CBSCS and MountainWest Sports Network. In August 2007, broadcast rights to Big Ten football games and men's college basketball games not chosen to air on ESPN were transferred to the Big Ten Network, a joint venture between the conference and News Corp.

Games air on broadcast stations, cable/satellite networks, and on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, both of which are pay-per-view packages. Beginning with the 2007-08 college football season, these games are made available at no additional charge to viewers of the ESPN360 broadband service.

Since ERT shares its' production facilities with those of ESPNU, there are some crossovers in production. Mike Gleason hosts pregame, halftime, and postgame shows on the ESPN Plus telecasts. ERT also airs "Studio 66", named for Big 12 sponsor Phillips 66, as the pregame show before the basketball telecasts. During the conference tournament, it travels to the tournament site.

Event organizer

In addition to the syndicated telecasts, ERT promotes a number of special events:
*It organizes the following college football bowl games, which are televised on either ESPN or ESPN2: St. Petersburg Bowl, Papajohns.com Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl, and Sheraton Hawaiokinai Bowl. Most of these games (except the Armed Forces Bowl) are held before Christmas and until 2006 were branded under the name "Bowl Road Trip," while ESPN telecasts after Christmas were referred to as "Capital One Bowl Week." (As of the 2007 bowl season, however, Bowl Week now covers all games shown on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC.) [http://www.espn-plus.com/ert.php]
*It also organizes the MEAC-SWAC Challenge, a regular season game between teams representing two conferences of historically black colleges and universities in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
*It is also behind a number of college basketball events, including the BracketBusters mid-season event, Old Spice Classic held at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Florida, the All-College Basketball Classic in Oklahoma City, the Puerto Rico Classic, the Anaheim Classic and the Big East-SEC Challenge, the latter three of which began began in 2007. In 2008, a new classic, to be held in Charleston, South Carolina, will be added to the events they produce. All games are shown on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
*In golf, ERT produces the telecast of the Skins Game which airs Thanksgiving weekend on ABC as well as the Champions Tour version of said event, airing on ESPN 2 and organizes the National Golf Challenge, an amateur tournament.

External links

* [http://www.espn-plus.com Corporate site]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tvlistings/ESPNPlus ESPN Plus program listing]
* [http://www.meacswacchallenge.com/ MEAC-SWAC Challenge page]
* [http://www.espngolf.com National Golf Challenge]

References


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