University of Maine Announces New Television Partners

University of Maine Announces New Television Partners

ORONO, Maine – University of Maine Athletics and its multimedia rights partner, Learfield Sports, jointly announced today they have entered into separate, two-year agreements with Rockfleet Broadcasting III LLC / Bangor Communications LLC and with FOX College Sports for broadcast and distribution of Black Bear athletics events, beginning with the upcoming football season.

Bangor’s WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 will broadcast in high definition (HD) three football games, seven hockey games and up to two basketball games, plus carry a total of 14 Black Bear Insider shows during the 2013-14 athletics season. The games will be produced in HD by the Pack Network, which has been producing quality HD collegiate sports content for numerous schools in the Northeast, as well as Hockey East and the America East Conference.

Additionally, an agreement has been signed with FOX College Sports to complement the local broadcasts of WVII/WFVX. The network will provide national and statewide distribution for the Black Bears’ games and Insider show. Television broadcast schedules for the Black Bears will be finalized and announced by Learfield Sports’ local entity, Black Bear Sports Properties, following confirmed broadcast plans of the Colonial Athletic Association and Hockey East.

“We are delighted to give our fans in Maine and across the country the chance to watch Black Bear sports in high definition,” said University of Maine Director of Athletics Steve Abbott. “We greatly appreciate Learfield’s ongoing efforts to help UMaine boost the Black Bear brand, and enhance our exposure and recruiting efforts in Maine and nationally, and we look forward to working with our new broadcast partners this fall.”

“We’re of course thrilled for the opportunity to formally represent the Black Bears, a home team we’ve been cheering on for years and years,” said WVII ABC 7 and FOX 22 General Manager Mike Palmer. “We are committed to delivering our absolute best for UMaine fans and alumni who will be relying on us on the broadcast end, and we look forward to getting started.”

“FOX College Sports is excited to partner with the University of Maine to bring Black Bear games to a national audience, making it easier for family, friends and alumni to follow their favorite student-athletes,” said Gary Ehrlich, Executive Vice President, FOX Sports Networks. “We look forward to a great slate of football, hockey and basketball games this season.”

“It was imperative to us to develop a television package for the Black Bears that was beneficial for the university and a quality deliverable for the fans,” said Learfield Sports’ Chief Content Officer Joe Ferreira. “We are excited about the local and national distribution we’ve assembled with our ABC/FOX and FOX College Sports agreements, knowing we are giving the fans first-class productions.”

Black Bear Sports Properties’ General Manager Andrew Stuebner commented, “It was important to us at the property level and at Learfield corporate to make sure we came up with a multi-year broadcast partnership that was in the best interest of Black Bear fans and resulted in the highest level of quality television.”

In addition to Maine, Learfield Sports manages multimedia rights and sponsorship for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations, and titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. The company’s multimedia rights encompass numerous content distribution platforms to deliver the passion of college athletics across radio, television and digital networks to fans globally. Today, Learfield Sports’ exclusive sports programming reaches more than 50 million television households nationally and delivers nearly 17,000 hours of radio programming on more than 1,100 radio stations. For additional information about the company’s 40-year history and complete collegiate portfolio, visit www.learfieldsports.com.

FOX College Sports offers three nationally distributed college sports networks – FCS Pacific, FCS Central and FCS Atlantic. The three networks combine to telecast more than 1,100 live NCAA events annually. FCS is seen by viewers in the nation’s 25 largest cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis and Tampa. Key distribution partners include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom Communications, DirecTV and Cable One. For more information on where to find FCS, visit http://fcs.channelfinder.net/start.asp.