MACON, Ga. – With 10 regular-season games already on national or regional television in 2013-14, the FGCU men’s basketball team – combined with efforts from the Atlantic Sun Conference and ESPN – have announced that each of the remaining 10 home games not already scheduled for TV will be shown live on ESPN3.
FGCU becomes the fourth league member to join the conference initiative to provide live video broadcasts internationally through ESPN3, the worldwide leader’s multi-screen sports network accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphone and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.
ESPN3 is available to approximately 83 million homes at no cost to fans who already receive their cable or Internet from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision or Cox Communications.
The Eagles begin their home schedule with Breakfast at the Beach at 7 a.m. versus Hartford on ESPN2 Tuesday, Nov. 12. After that, FGCU’s final four non-conference home games and six of the team’s nine A-Sun contests in Alico Arena will be showcased on ESPN3, marking the first time in program history that all 14 of the team’s home games will either be on TV or video streamed. For the year, FGCU will have a staggering 24 games on TV or ESPN3, including each of the first 11 games of the season.
FGCU joins Lipscomb, USC Upstate and Kennesaw State as the league’s four members utilizing the ESPN3 platform. The production will be entirely student-run, with the exception of the on-air talent and producer positions as David Moulton, the radio voice of the Eagles since the program’s inception in 2002, will provide play-by-play for a majority of the contests.
In addition to the men’s broadcasts, the Green and Blue’s women’s basketball team will also have each of its 15 home contests shown live on ESPN3 for a total of 25 FGCU-originated broadcasts. Furthermore, ESPN3 will broadcast the semifinals of the A-Sun Championship on the men’s side and the semifinals and championship game from the women’s tournament.
The A-Sun was the first to adopt the conference-wide on-campus production model, and the commitment to the initiative has resulted in a 300-percent increase in television-caliber live productions since 2011.
“The strong and growing relationship between ESPN and the A-Sun lets us be a leader in direct delivery of campus-produced digital content,” said A-Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart. “We continue to expand the number and variety of productions that provide the well-deserved exposure for our talented student-athletes, their teams and the A-Sun institutions. We appreciate ESPN’s commitment to our conference-wide campus production initiative, and we are excited to have live broadcasts this year from Kennesaw State and FGCU, joining Lipscomb and USC Upstate as ESPN production partners. The A-Sun remains a leader in campus production technology and we anticipate much continued success moving forward.”
Moving forward is exactly what FGCU will be looking to do as it is coming off an unprecedented 2012-13 season in which it became the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16. The Eagles were predicted to continue their success this season as they were lauded as the preseason favorite in both the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches Poll and A-Sun Media Poll last week. Individually, junior Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year, while classmate Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) and senior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) were named unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team.
Additionally, Fieler was voted the Preseason Player of the Year by the fans, and Thompson also landed a spot on the 10-member all-league team and was the Fan-Voted Defensive Player of the Year. FGCU is the only team in the conference with multiple unanimous selections, while only the Eagles and USC Upstate have three members each on the squad.
Fans in SWFL will have their first opportunity to see Comer, Thompson, Fieler and the rest of the Eagles as part of Dunk City After Dark Presented by Coconut Point Ford, FGCU’s Midnight Madness event which will be shown on ESPNU this coming Friday, Oct. 18, beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is free, but a large crowd is expected. Fans can ensure a seat by purchasing a discounted $3 volleyball ticket as the Eagles will face Lipscomb at 7 p.m.
Fans will then get to see their first game action at Breakfast at the Beach – FGCU’s home opener which is part of ESPN’s 24-Hour Tipoff Marathon. The game versus Hartford will air live on ESPN2 at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and the Sweet 16 banner will be unveiled. Tickets are selling quickly and can be reserved by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets or by calling 239-590-7145.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.