I wish a had a dollar for every time during the last month or so
I've been either e-mailed or asked in person... "Which ECU
football games will WITN air this year?"
So, last week I had every intention on letting Pirate fans know
which football games would be aired by WITN-TV during the
upcoming 2006 season. Thankfully, I didn't.
Believe it or not, prior to Thursday afternoon the four games
WITN is contracted to televise were still in limbo. However, I did find
out late Thursday that East Carolina's second game of the season will
be aired by WITN on September 9. This was always a game that was on
the radar but we had to wait on approval from CSTV. But barring some
unforeseen circumstances, this one's a go! If you didn't already know,
ECU at Navy will be aired on CSTV, so that eliminates the season opener
on local television. That takes care of the first two games.
The home opener between ECU and Memphis on September 16 will likely
not be televised.
The following weekend, East Carolina welcomes in nationally ranked West
Virginia. That game will be televised nationally by ESPN. It's nice to
see the "worldwide leader in sports" finally getting back to eastern
CSTV is scheduled to pick up the Virginia game at home, with the Tulsa
game likely to be the second home game not on television. As for the
homecoming game against SMU, that might be one of WITN's four
contracted games. I know, I know.... we need to televise games on the
road. I've been hearing that since 1998 when WITN first started airing
ECU football games and I totally agree. But what you have to understand
is that sometimes it's actually a good thing to have to air home games.
That usually means the games are slim pickings for local broadcasts
since either regional or national networks are interested in so many of
the others. Wouldn't it stink if WITN had free reign of the television
package? That would mean regional and national interest of Pirate
football is non-existant.
CSTV will once again pick up coverage on October 28 when the Pirates
travel to Southern Miss.
Things start to get a little tricky on November 4. WITN is interested
in airing the game at UCF, but there is a major conflict with this
NBC is contracted to carry the November 4 game between Notre Dame and
North Carolina, which will obviously be a big draw here in North
Carolina. Unfortunately, the two games overlap. UNC-Notre Dame at
and ECU-UCF at 4pm. You do the math. There's still a possibility of
getting this game worked out. I'll keep you updated on the situation.
The home game against Marshall on November 11 could possibly be the
final game of the season not on television. WITN is currently
finishing plans to air the Rice game on the road the following week,
and I personally think that the regular season finale between ECU and
NC State will have bowl implications for both teams, and become a game
that will be picked up either regionally or nationally, late in the
So, that means possibly nine of East Carolina's twelve regular season
will likely be on television, either locally or nationally. We haven't
seen that much TV time since the 2001 season, when ten games were
televised. I'll see you on the tube.