Cleveland, Ohio - Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst announced today a 30-game television schedule for men's and women's basketball for the 1999-2000 season.
The regular-season schedule includes ten (10) men's basketball games on broadcast syndication in the six-state MAC region, nine (9) games on the FOX Sports Net regional networks and five (5) women's games to be televised on FOX Sports Net Ohio. The FOX Sports Net regional networks covering the MAC include FOX Sports Net Chicago, FOX Sports Net Midwest, FOX Sports Net Detroit, FOX Sports Net Ohio, FOX Sports Net Pittsburgh and Empire Sports Network.
Mid-American Conference men's basketball tournament coverage, from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, will again be highlighted by an ESPN national telecast of the championship game on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. The semi-finals on Monday, March 6 will be televised by the FOX Sports Net regional networks at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The semi-finals of the women's basketball tournament, scheduled for Friday, March 3 at Public Hall in Cleveland, will also air on the FOX RSN package. The league remains in negotiations for the telecast of its women's championship game.
"We believe this schedule showcases the absolute best of MAC basketball," said Chryst. "Our intent is to bring those games of most interest to MAC fans across our six-state footprint on a consistent basis. Our FOX regional sports network partnership is so valuable to us and we are excited that this year it includes tournament as well as regular-season coverage. We are trying something new in terms of broadcast syndication; the possibility of significant over-the-air exposure in our major markets is an exciting prospect for the conference and something we firmly believe can grow in the future."
The men's basketball television package, consisting of both a Saturday broadcast syndication window and a Monday evening slot on the FOX regional sports networks, will launch Saturday, January 22 and run consecutively through the final six weeks of the regular-season. The league's top rivalries will be featured, including Bowling Green at Toledo [Feb. 7], Central Michigan at Western Michigan [Feb. 12], Akron at Kent [Feb. 19] and Miami at Ohio [Feb. 21]. All thirteen MAC institutions will appear at least once on the package.
Opening the women's package on Saturday, January 29 will be a regular-season rematch of the last four MAC championship contests, as Toledo faces Kent in the Gund Arena. The game will be the first half of a special women's doubleheader, with national power Tennessee taking on North Carolina State in the nightcap. Other regular-season television games include Akron at Miami [Feb. 5], Ohio at Marshall [Feb. 12], Western Michigan at Northern Illinois [Feb. 19] and Bowling Green at Buffalo [February 25].
In addition to the 1999-2000 schedule, the MAC also announced the signing of a comprehensive three-year partnership agreement involving production and syndication rights with ESPN, Inc., and ESPN Regional Television. Distributing under the brand ESPN Plus, ESPN Regional Television presently serves as the multi-media rights holder for the Big Ten (football and basketball), Big East (football and basketball), Conference USA (basketball) and the Big 12 (basketball) conferences.
Men's Television Schedule
Date Game Network
Jan. 22 Eastern Michigan @ Toledo MAC Syndication
Jan. 24 Akron @ Buffalo Ball State at Marshall FOX RSN
Jan. 29 Marshall @ Ohio Miami @ Western Michigan MAC Syndication
Jan. 31 Western Michigan @ Kent Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan FOX RSN
Feb. 5 Ohio @ Bowling Green Ball State @ Eastern Michigan MAC Syndication
Feb. 7 Bowling Green @ Toledo FOX RSN
Feb. 12 Bowling Green @ Miami Central Michigan @ Western Michigan MAC Syndication
Feb. 14 Akron @ Ball State Eastern Michigan @ Central Michigan FOX RSN
Feb. 19 Akron @ Kent MAC Syndication
Feb. 21 Miami @ Ohio Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan FOX RSN
Feb. 26 Kent @ Ohio Toledo @ Central Michigan MAC Syndication
Mar. 6 MAC Semi-final #1 and MAC Semi-final #2 FOX RSN
Mar. 8 MAC Championship ESPN
Women's Television Package
Jan. 29 Toledo versus Kent @ Gund Arena FSN Ohio
Feb. 5 Akron @ Miami FSN Ohio
Feb. 12 Ohio @ Marshall FSN Ohio
Feb. 19 Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois FSN Ohio
Feb. 25 Bowling Green @ Buffalo FSN Ohio
Mar. 3 MAC Semi-final #1 and MAC Semi-final #2 FSN Ohio
Mar. 4 MAC Championship TBA