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TMCNet:  Times Union, Albany, N.Y., Pete Dougherty column

[November 09, 2012]

Times Union, Albany, N.Y., Pete Dougherty column

Nov 09, 2012 (Times Union - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- You officially can be declared middle-aged -- or older -- if you remember when the college basketball options were limited to an ECAC Game of the Week package on Saturday afternoons.

Sonny Dove and St. John's got a lot of airtime.

The only thing that has grown faster than the number of Division I basketball schools is the number of games televised.

Even when it launched in 1979, ESPN produced a lot. I still remember the 1980 Rutgers-St. Bonaventure game, which I covered for a newspaper amidst ESPN's cameras. The Bonnies decided to play stall ball and pulled out a 30-29 upset. Not exactly riveting television.

These days, you aren't stuck with just one game. For openers, we have 17 games in our TV listings for Friday night, the first of four months packed with multiple telecasts virtually every night.

ESPN alone has approximately 1,000 telecasts, if you include those available on Beyond that, there are more than a dozen other networks and channels offering a piece, highlighted by the NCAA Tournament, shared by CBS and TBS.

Here's an attempt to guide you through the congestion (hoping that we don't leave out anything): Big Ten Network: Any game on the home court of a conference team that isn't assigned to a network partner usually lands here.

CBS: Games of national interest on December Saturdays, expanding to Sundays from January through the NCAA Tournament.

CBS Sports Network: Approximately 125 games, headed by Atlantic 10, on various nights.

ESPN: "Big Monday" (Big East, Big 12); "Super Tuesday" (Big Ten, SEC); "Wednesday Night Hoops" (ACC or Big East, Big 12 or Pac-12); "Thursday Night Showcase" (ACC or Big Ten; SEC, Big East or Pac-12), multiple Saturday games (Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC).

ESPN2: "Wednesday Night Hoops" (ACC or Big East, Big 12 or Pac-12); "Thursday Night Showcase" (ACC or Big Ten, SEC or Big East, WCC).

ESPNU: ACC and SEC on Tuesdays; Big 12 and Big East on Wednesdays, Pac-12 on Thursdays, MAAC and Horizon on Fridays, Big East, SEC, Pac-12 on Saturdays, ACC and MVC on Sundays.

Fox College Sports: The Atlantic, Central and Pacific digital channels pick up 450 men's and women's games from 12 conferences via Fox Sports Net (some of those games also are on MSG+) and another 100 from America East, Great West, NEC and Summit. That's more games than anyone this side of ESPN. Consult your Times Union daily listings.

MSG: A 52-game schedule focuses on the Big East and SEC and has other assorted games.

MSG+: Included on a 44-game schedule are matchups from the Pac-12, Conference USA, SEC and NEC.

My-51 (My-4 on Time Warner Cable): ACC Saturday afternoon games.

NBC Sports Network: More than 50 games, mostly Mondays, Thursdays and weekends.

Pac-12 Network: The first-year network has 150 games scheduled, including Tuesday's UAlbany at Washington tilt.

SNY: Approximately 85 games, mostly from the Big East, including some exclusive Connecticut telecasts.

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel: The Albany division will produce nine Siena and an undetermined number of UAlbany games. There also are Big East and other assorted games. No longer "TW-3," the games are on Ch. 50, with digital Ch. 1 used for spillover.

YES: The network will produce six Fordham games and also air "three or so" Yale contests.

Pete Dougherty is the Times Union's sports TV/radio columnist --518-454-5416 --@Pete_Dougherty Sound bytes 1 The proliferation of the media world helped broadcasters such as Jim Durham, appreciated formerly only in the Chicago area as the Bulls' play-by-play voice, a wider audience. Durham, who became ESPN Radio's lead NBA announcer in 1996, died Sunday, five days after calling the Celtics-Heat season opener for the network. It was good to see him get national recognition in the final years of his career. Durham was 65.

2 Time Warner Cable has become the latest cable system to add BeIN Sport, a soccer network with games from Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1 and most significantly all U.S. road matches for 2014 World Cup qualifying. Operated by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, the network will be part of TWC's "Sports Pass" tier on Ch 658 (standard) and 1706 (high definition).

3 WRGB sports director Doug Sherman and Schenectady native (and former WRGB anchor) Joe Tessitore are a part of ESPN's 2012-13 roster of college basketball announcers. Sherman and former Fairfield coach Tim O'Toole will handle Friday night MAAC telecasts on ESPNU. Tessitore, who also has a prominent role on the network's college football and boxing coverage, will work with Sean Farnham on "Thursday Night Showcase" Big Ten games on ESPN or ESPN2.

___ (c)2012 Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) Visit Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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