MVC announces exclusive package on ESPN networks for 16-17 academic year

SIU coach Barry Hinson reacts to a call during the Salukis' 66-60 loss to Northern Iowa on March 4 during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. ( file photo)

By Sean Carley

The Missouri Valley Conference will be all over the ESPN family of networks this year.

ESPN networks will exclusively broadcast 104 MVC events through the 2016-17 academic year, conference commissioner Doug Elgin announced Wednesday.

Forty-one men’s basketball games will be broadcast on ESPN platforms — ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.


Another 63 events, across nine other Valley sports, will be provided as well.

These events come in addition to the 450 live competitions that will be put together and broadcast by member schools themselves on “The Valley on ESPN3.”

“Through multi-layered platforms, ESPN provides us with an invaluable national promotional vehicle in an ever-evolving video environment,” Elgin said in a press release.

SIU basketball may be featured 10 times throughout the season — five appearances each for the men’s and women’s programs. The exact number of appearances will be determined later according to the network’s flex scheduling, which allows ESPN to pick which matches to show based on potential viewership.

“The Wildcard selection process allows ESPN to position the game with the most impact to cap our season,” associate commissioner Jack R. Watkins said. “As a result of this process, Wichita State completed its three-peat of MVC regular-season championships on ESPN2 during the 2016 finale telecast.”

As well as the basketball seasons, regular season baseball will be shown on the networks. Men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s basketball, softball and baseball will have their conference championships broadcast on the ESPN networks.

“The benefits are vast having our championships shown on ‘The Valley on ESPN3,’” Watkins said.  “Our families and fans, plus NCAA Division I sport committee members, can catch live action or watch our replays of our most important competitions at a critical stage of the season.”

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

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