Feb. 11, 2011
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CHICAGO – The Big Ten Network will offer its most extensive baseball and softball coverage ever, with at least 140 events on television or online in 2011. This year’s streamed schedule at www.BigTenNetwork.com will include at least 30 more events than last year’s schedule. Every telecast will be produced in high definition.
The network will nationally televise up to 30 Big Ten baseball games, including the entire Big Ten Baseball Tournament, and stream a minimum of another 50 games for www.BigTenNetwork.com. The network will also broadcast 25 Big Ten softball games this spring to a national audience and stream at least another 37 games online. A selected number of streamed games will be televised on delay through the network’s Student U initiative.
Hawkeye baseball games at Illinois (April 9), and home contests against Indiana (April 15) and Penn State (May 7) will be carried live. Iowa softball road games at Purdue (April 3) and Minnesota (doubleheader on April 13), and home contests versus Northwestern (April 17) and Penn State (May 8) will be televised on the network.
“We’re pleased to expand our coverage yet again this year, and give Big Ten baseball and softball teams a tremendous level of national exposure,” Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman said.
The network’s live baseball coverage begins with the Michigan-Michigan State series in Ann Arbor. Game one of the series is slated for 5 PM ET on Friday, March 25, and will be streamed live at www.BigTenNetwork.com. The network’s first telecast of the season will be at 2 PM ET on Sunday, April 3, as Ohio State hosts Northwestern at Bill Davis Stadium. At least 60 games on the Big Ten Network baseball schedule will be conference matchups, including the entire Big Ten Baseball Tournament, played Wednesday, May 25, through Saturday, May 28 (or May 29, if necessary). The 2011 tournament will be played at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.
Minnesota finished atop the 2010 Big Ten baseball standings, winning the conference regular season crown and tournament title. With the tournament win, the Gophers secured the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship, making their conference-leading 30th appearance in the bracket and the program’s third appearance in the last four years.
The Big Ten Network’s live softball coverage begins with Michigan hosting Bowling Green at Alumni Field. First pitch is slated for 4 PM ET on Wednesday, March 30, and the game will be streamed live. The network’s first live softball telecast of the spring is set for noon ET on Sunday, April 3, as Purdue takes on Iowa in West Lafayette, Ind.
The Big Ten features three teams listed in the USA Softball preseason top 25, including No. 8 Michigan and Illinois and Ohio State tied at No. 24. The Wolverines captured their third straight regular season Big Ten title in 2010, marking their 13th conference championship in the last 19 seasons. Overall, three Big Ten teams earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2010, including Illinois, Ohio State and Super Regional participant, Michigan.