DIRECTV Sports Networks and Big Sky Conference Announce Inaugural 2012 Football Schedule on ROOT SPORTS
SEATTLE, WA (April 10, 2012) – DIRECTV Sports Networks and the Big Sky Conference have announced the telecast schedule for the upcoming 2012 football season with a total of 12 games to be televised on the ROOT SPORTS branded regional sports networks. Eastern Washington University's games against Montana (Sept. 29 in Cheney, Wash.) and Montana State (Oct. 13 in Bozeman) are on the slate of televised games.
The three ROOT SPORTS networks reach more than 8.7 million viewers across 18 states, including Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado that are home to most Big Sky institutions.
DIRECTV Sports Networks will produce and televise all 12 Big Sky Conference football games in high-definition, starting on September 22 when Northern Arizona visits the University of Montana. DIRECTV Sports Networks will also introduce new on-air graphics customized for the Big Sky Conference and each of its individual teams. ROOT SPORTS will televise 12 of the 13 Big Sky Conference football teams at least once, and air contests from nine Big Sky stadiums.
“We are very excited to showcase high-definition telecasts of the Big Sky Conference football games to fans and alumni across the Big Sky communities, and also nationally,” said Patrick Crumb, President of DIRECTV Sports Networks. “Big Sky football continues to grow in strength and popularity, and this schedule will enable Big Sky fans to enjoy great competition among these universities.”
Starting on September 22, ROOT SPORTS will feature a Big Sky “Game of the Week” showcasing a key conference matchup. During three Saturdays this season, fans will be treated to a back-to-back double header of Big Sky football games.
Major rivalry games carried on ROOT SPORTS will include the Montana Grizzlies traveling to take on the Eastern Washington Eagles on the red turf of Roos Field and the 112th “Brawl of the Wild” between the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats.
“We’re looking forward to another highly-successful season of football in the Big Sky Conference, the first with 13 members,’’ said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton. “We are very excited to showcase our product on ROOT SPORTS. We believe fans and alumni of our institutions will be very pleased with the production quality and overall commitment to covering Big Sky Conference football games by ROOT SPORTS.”
Here is the inaugural 2012 Big Sky football schedule on ROOT SPORTS:
- Sept. 22 – Northern Arizona @ Montana 1:30pm MT
- Sept. 29 – Montana State @ Southern Utah 1:30pm MT
- Sept. 29 – Montana @ Eastern Washington 5:00pm MT
- Oct. 6 – Montana @ Northern Colorado 1:30pm MT
- Oct. 6 – Montana State @ Cal Davis 5:00pm MT
- Oct. 13 – Eastern Washington @ Montana State 1:30pm MT
- Oct. 20 – Montana @ North Dakota 1:30pm MT
- Oct. 27 – Idaho State @ Montana 1:30pm MT
- Nov. 3 – Montana @ Weber State 1:30pm MT
- Nov. 3 – Montana State @ Sacramento State 5:00pm MT
- Nov. 10 – Portland State @ Montana State 1:30pm MT
- Nov. 17 – Montana State @ Montana 1:30pm MT
Big Sky Conference games will be distributed primarily on the Northwest and Rocky Mountain ROOT SPORTS networks, which are carried by all major distributors in those territories, including Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Cablevision (Optimum), Mid-Rivers Communications and several others. As the national television rights holder for Big Sky athletics, DIRECTV Sports Networks will have the ability to distribute Big Sky games to other regions to satisfy the growing interest in the conference’s athletics and academics throughout the U.S.
About the Big Sky Conference
The Big Sky Conference will celebrate its 50th season in 2013-14, and currently consists of nine schools in eight states (Eastern Washington University, Idaho State University, The University of Montana, Montana State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, Portland State University and Weber State University). On July 1, 2012, Southern Utah University and the University of North Dakota are scheduled to join as full members, and Cal Poly and UC Davis will join as football affiliate members.
The Big Sky Conference is one of the premier leagues at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Level. It advanced teams to the Division I National Championship three straight seasons from 2008-2010. Eastern Washington won the national championship in 2010. This season, Montana advanced to the semifinals and finished third in the final poll. Montana State advanced to the quarterfinals and finished seventh in the final poll.
Multiple Big Sky Conference teams have qualified for the FCS postseason thirteen consecutive seasons. In recent seasons, league teams have upset squads from the Big 12 and Pac-12 Conferences, including Sacramento State’s stunning overtime win over Oregon State earlier this season. The Big Sky is also home to the nation’s top scorer in Division I basketball, Weber State’s Damian Lillard.
About DIRECTV Sports Networks
Seattle-based DIRECTV Sports Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of DIRECTV and operates three regional sports networks branded as ROOT SPORTS™. The three networks (based in Bellevue WA, Denver CO, and Pittsburgh, PA) are distributed in 18 states and hold exclusive regional telecast rights to over two dozen professional and collegiate teams, including the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Utah Jazz, Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers and Gonzaga University. The ROOT SPORTS networks also distribute Big 12, Pac-12, Conference USA and other collegiate football and basketball games.
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