Country Music Superstar Brad Paisley to Headline College GameDay Season Opener

Images from College GameDay

Texas Schools Invited to Takeover Ft. Worth’s Sundance Square

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by the Home Depot trucks will roll into Ft. Worth’s Sundance Square this week for the opening weekend of college football. Fans and mascots from Texas schools such as Baylor, North Texas, SMU, TCU and UT, as well as fans of the two teams featured in that night’s ABC Saturday Night Football 8 p.m. ET matchup – Wisconsin and Alabama, are invited to the Square to kick off the season with College GameDay, its on-site fan activities and country music superstar Brad Paisley.

Paisley, who served as a guest picker at GameDay’s West Virginia stop last year, will perform his new single, “Country Nation” for the crowd and viewers at home during the Saturday, Sept. 5, season-opening telecast (9 a.m. – noon ET) hosted by Rece Davis with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack.

Additional programming details will be announced later in the week including planned features, segments and the guest picker.

About Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer whose talents have earned him numerous awards, including three GRAMMYs, two American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), among many others. He has been a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001. Paisley has written 20 of his 23 #1 singles with the first being his 1999 hit “He Didn’t Have To Be” and his most recent, “Perfect Storm,” from his chart-topping 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk. Paisley kicked off his Crushin’ It World Tour the middle of May by playing to over 50,000 fans the first weekend and continues through October. Paisley has partnered with Boot Barn® and developed an exclusive line of jeans, hats, T-shirts, jewelry, belts and woven shirts called Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley. Fans can look for him and Carrie Underwood to return as hosts of “Country Music’s Biggest Night™” for the eighth consecutive year when “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” airs live from Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 4 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network. Connect with Brad at www.BradPaisley.com, www.Facebook.com/BradPaisley, on Twitter @BradPaisley, on Instagram @Brad Paisley, and YouTube at YouTube.com/BradPaisley.

About College GameDay
College football’s longest running and most celebrated pregame show – College GameDay, is hosted by Rece Davis, with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, as well as contributors Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, George Whitfield and Gene Wojciechowski. The three-hour program of debate and discussion about the week’s most compelling college football stories and previews of the weekend’s biggest games is in its 29th season.

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Longhorn Network to Debut New Show All-22

New preview show joins full slate of football programming

In anticipation of the Texas football season, Longhorn Network, ESPN’s 24-hour network devoted to the University of Texas, kicks off its 2015 football programming slate this week. The line-up is highlighted with the debut of All-22, a new weekly preview show, airing Thursdays  at 8 p.m. CT. Hosted by Lowell Galindo, All-22 features analyst David Thomas breaking down game film to analyze how Texas stacks up against the next opponent.

Thomas will examine film from the same viewpoint as coaches in their game preparation, using the high camera angle that shows “All 22” players on the field. His expertise will give fans an inside look at the X’s and O’s that will help determine the offensive and defensive game plans. All-22 will air on Thursdays before Texas football games throughout the season.

The weekend slate of programming is highlighted with two new locations and sets for the network’s flagship pregame show Texas GameDay. Below is a full wrap-up of LHN’s extensive programming surrounding every aspect of UT football.

 

Recurring weekday programming will include (all times CT):

  • Texas Football Press Conference (Monday, 11 a.m.) Live coverage of head coach Charlie Strong’s weekly press conference
  • Longhorn Extra: Upon Further Review(Monday, 6 p.m., debuts Sept. 7) Host Alex Loeb with Dan Neil, Ahmad Brooks and reporter Jane Slater break down all the action from Texas’ latest game
  • Rewind with Charlie Strong(Monday, 7 p.m., debuts Sept. 7) Coach Strong joins Lowell Galindo to analyze Texas’ most recent football game, featuring analysis, highlights and interviews
  • Texas Football Overdrive(Tuesday, 7 p.m., debuts Sept. 15) All the action of Texas’ latest game in 60 minutes, enhanced with player and coach interviews
  • Texas Football All Access(Wednesday, 8p.m.) All Access takes fans behind the scenes and inside the locker room with the Texas Longhorns
  • All-22 – (Thursday, 8 p.m.) Analyst David Thomas previews the upcoming game using the same style film each head coach utilizes to prepare their team
  •  Longhorn Weekly with Charlie Strong – (Thursday, 7 p.m.) Coach Strong, Craig Way and weekly guests discuss all things Texas Football
  • Longhorn Extra, LHN’s news and information show, airs weeknights at 10p.m., Wednesday-Friday

 

Weekend Programming includes:

 

  • Texas GameDay, LHN’s pregame show embeds viewers with fans inside and outside the stadium with two new set locations this year. The show offers analysis and reporting every Saturday two-and-a-half hours before home game kickoff and also 2 hours before away games (from the LHN studio)
  • Texas GameDay Halftime Presented by H-E-B, the Texas GameDay desk of experts returns from the sidelines or outside the stadium to analyze the first half for home games, and from the studio for away games
  • Texas GameDay Final Powered by Chevy Silverado, rejoin the set of Texas legends immediately following the conclusion of the game for a breakdown of the Longhorns’ performance on the field.

 

LHN’s weekly programming provides an in-depth lead-in to each Saturday’s game, including the network’s telecast of UT’s home game season opener against Rice on Sept. 12, presented by H-E-B.

 

For complete details and updated schedules, go to www.longhornnetwork.com.

 

About Longhorn Network

ESPN has a 20-year agreement to own and operate a year-round, 24-hour network dedicated to Texas athletics in partnership with UT and IMG College. Longhorn Network offers a variety of content, highlighted by more than 175 exclusive events annually, original series and studio shows, historical programming and academic and cultural happenings. The network is also available to subscribers with WatchESPN via participating providers on smartphones, tablets, computers, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

New Midnight SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt Launching Sept. 7

After months of planning, preparation and rehearsal, the new midnight (ET) edition of ESPN SportsCenter, hosted by Scott Van Pelt, will premier Monday, Sept. 7, immediately following ESPN’s telecast of the game between No. 1 Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

The longtime ESPN anchor, who also previously hosted a program on ESPN Radio, will introduce a different version of SportsCenter, presenting the world of sports as seen through his unique perspective.

SC_SVP_Icon_080315

“Scott and a team of very talented and creative people have been working hard to be ready to launch a new and entertaining midnight SportsCenter,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “The show will deliver what sports fans are used to from SportsCenter but in a different and fast-paced way, led by the intellect, humor and sports fandom of Scott Van Pelt.”

Much as was done on the previous SVP & Russillo radio show, the program will showcase Van Pelt’s passion for sports, with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines.

“It’s still SportsCenter,” said Van Pelt. “It’s still a show that at its core is about whatever has happened that day in sports – highlights and stories – and not a variety show. It’s our interpretation of what SportsCenter would be if you blended it with some room for commentary. The crux is that it’s SportsCenter, just our version of it.”

While presenting the day’s news and highlights with Van Pelt’s own spin, the program also will offer commentary, guests and interviews, with featured elements that set it apart from other editions of SportsCenter, including:

  • One Big Thing — the trademark essay from Van Pelt’s radio program
  • Bad Beats — games that had a unique resonance in Las Vegas
  • Best Available Video — the fun, extraordinary images of the day
  • Best Thing I Saw Today — Van Pelt’s nightly pick of the signature moment/topic
  • Oh, No! — a kinder, gentler, and shorter version of the SportsCenter “Not Top 10,” presented with empathy
  • West Coast Bias — a feature designed to serve fans who watch at 9 p.m. PT, at times including 1 a.m. SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett and Stan Verrett.
  • Where in the World Isn’t SVP? — Tweets from fans who see lookalikes of Van Pelt at places around the world

“Our thought was ‘how do we create a long list of possible ways to just take a different approach to stories?’” Van Pelt said. “It’s a great group of creative people, and we’re far from done. September 7 is when the show starts, but we don’t have to be done then. Our list of ideas won’t end that day. That’s just the first day we take a stab at it.”

Music will play a large role in distinguishing this edition of SportsCenter from others, with a special new cut of the SportsCenter theme produced by Timbaland in collaboration with Jingle Jared for jingle punks. Also, Van Pelt favorite Trombone Shorty provides music for a regular football season Thursday segment called “Winners,” a carryover from his radio show.

New graphics have been designed especially for the program and the show’s set will have a refined desk, lighting and overall positioning for a differentiated, intimate feel.

Key members of the show’s staff include producer Tom DeCorte, director Rodney Perez and “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, a former producer of Van Pelt’s radio show, who will have both an on- and off-air role, appearing on-camera for segments and also helping to book guests and conceive show ideas.

The program will be found on Twitter with the hashtag #SCSVP, as well as Van Pelt’s @notthefakesvp and @SportsCenter.

The premier of the show coincides with the 36th anniversary of the launch of ESPN on Sept. 7, 1979.

“That’s an honor,” Van Pelt said. “They tried something different 36 years ago, and we’re trying something just a little bit different here.

“The good news for me is that I have 36 years of what’s been great about ESPN and what’s been great about SportsCenter behind me, so I can stand on the shoulders of all the folks who have built it.”

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Media contact: andy.hall@espn.com

July Marks 17th Straight Month at No 1 for ESPN Digital Media

ESPN Digital Usage Report 15.0731 percent share of sports category is more than Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined; New ESPN.com reaches 54.5 million fans in fourth month after launch; espnW, Grantland continue growth trend with third-most and second-most monthly uniques ever, respectively.

ESPN Digital Media reached 71.6 million unique visitors in the U.S. in July, topping in the sports category for the 17th straight month. Fans spent 82 minutes per user with ESPN content across platforms, more time than any of the other top properties in the sports category.

DigitalStats157Overall, ESPN accounted for 30.5 percent of all sports category usage on digital platforms, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined (MLB had 13.1 percent, Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network 11.6 percent).

ESPN.com garnered 54.5 million total unique visitors in the fourth month since launch. 41.1 million people visited the site via smartphones and tablets in July, and 67 percent of ESPN.com users exclusively accessed the site on a mobile device.

More results from the July comScore Multi-Platform report:

  • espnW continued its run of strong traffic, notching its third-largest monthly unique visitor total ever with 7.4 million, trailing only highs set in April and June of this year.
  • Grantland scored its second-highest monthly unique visitor count ever with 7.2 million in July. The site’s three highest monthly unique visitor totals have come in the past three months (No. 1 in May, No. 3 in June).
  • 6 million unique users accessed ESPN web and app content on smartphones and tablets, which means more fans accessed ESPN content from mobile devices only than any other sports property attracted across all platforms. ESPN mobile visitors generated 3.3 billion minutes of usage.
  • 67 percent of ESPN’s unique users – 48.2 million people – exclusively accessed content on smartphones and tablets. This is the 16th consecutive month that more than half of ESPN’s digital users came only from mobile devices.
  • 56 percent of all time spent with ESPN digital content was consumed by mobile device users, the 15th consecutive month that smartphones and tablets contributed a larger share of usage to ESPN’s digital total than desktop and laptop computers.
  • ESPN accounted for the top two sports apps on smartphones and tablets in July. The ESPN app topped the category for unique visitors (16.1 million), with WatchESPN at No. 2 (4.3 million).
  • ESPN’s portfolio of apps generated 2.0 billion minutes of usage, accounting for 36 percent of all time spent with apps in the Sports Category, 89 percent higher than the No. 2 property (MLB, 19 percent)
  • ESPN reached 10.6 million people per day via smartphones in July, more than the next two sports properties combined (Bleacher Report-Turner Sports Network, 4.5 million; Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports Network, 4.1 million).
  • In the average day in July ESPN web and app properties were accessed by 4.4 million millennial males (age 18-34) via smartphones. ESPN ranked ninth among the more than 6,000 mobile entities reported by comScore, ahead of Spotify (3.6 million) and Buzzfeed (1.3 million), among many others.

Additional results from ESPN Research & Analytics:

  • 2 million unique devices streamed WatchESPN and ESPN3 content in July, as viewers spent 1.03 billion minutes with programming across all platforms. 1
  • Fans watched 357.3 million ESPN digital video clips in July across all touch points.1
  • 66 percent of all ESPN platform clips (309.3 million) were viewed on computers, 28 percent on phones and tablets, and 6 percent on connected TVs. 1
  • Illustrating the appeal of fantasy football, ESPN’s top story in July was a ranking of the top 300 fantasy football players, which received nearly 3 million views. Three of the top 10 stories on ESPN.com in July were fantasy football related. Meanwhile two stories about Ronda Rousey’s UFC 190 knock-out placed in the top ten and garnered nearly 3.4 million views combined. 1DigitalContent157
  • ESPN networks and ABC sports television content generated 6.9 million tweets in July, accounting for nearly 16 percent of all TV-related activity during the month.2
  • Two million unique authors wrote tweets about ESPN/ABC Sports content, representing almost one-third of all those tweeting about TV in July. 2

1 Source: Adobe Analytics
2 Source: Nielsen SocialGuide

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Media Contacts:
Kevin Ota, ESPN                      860.766.9581 or kevin.r.ota@espn.com
Kristie Chong Adler, ESPN    646.547.5637 or kristie.chong@espn.com

@ESPNTennis & US Open, Day 1: Serena Starts Quest for Slam; Plus Djokovic, Nadal, Venus

  • Serena – in a Tough Quarter Filled with Americans – Plays in Prime Time, Followed by Nadal-Coric
  • Intriguing First-Round Matchups: Nadal-Coric, Sharapova-Gavrilova, Venus-Puig, Stevens-Vandeweghe
  • Tuesday: Federer, Murray-Kyrgios, Wawrinka, Halep, Wozniacki, Kvitova & More
  • First Ball to Last Ball, Now Exclusive to ESPN – Action First Week Begins at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN3
  • SportsCenter live from US Open Monday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET

ESPN’s first exclusive US Open starts Monday, Aug. 31, with a slate full of intriguing first-round matchups from the top half of both the men’s and women’s draws, highlighted by a prime-time doubleheader on Arthur Ashe Stadium at 7 p.m. on ESPN2:

  • Top seed and three-time defending champion Serena Williams plays Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia in the first step – of seven required – to achieve the sport’s first calendar year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988
  • Two-time champ and No. 8 Rafael Nadal has a tough first opponent, the highly touted 18-year old Borna Coric of Crotia who defeated Nadal in their only meeting – in Basel a year ago.

The top half of each draw will play Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday; the bottom half plays Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Labor Day Monday.

Monday’s other top women’s matches:

  • 3 and 2007 winner Maria Sharapova has a tough first-round opponent, 21-year Daria Gavrilova (ranked No. 37). They have split the two matches they have played.
  • 23 and two-time champ Venus Williams, 35, will play 21-year old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico (on Ashe, not before 1 p.m.).
  • Americans 22-year old Sloane Stephens (No. 29) and 23-year old CoCo Vandeweghe will square off.

Monday’s other top men’s matches:

  • 1 Djokovic, the 2011 US Open champ, plays Joao Souza of Brazil (follows V.Williams-Puig on Ashe).
  • 10 Milos Raonic, the big server from Canada, faces American Tim Smyczek.
  • The defending champion, No. 9 Marin Cilic, and 2014 finalist, No. 4 Kei Nishikori, are both in action.
  • 25 Fabio Fognini of Italy plays American Steve Johnson.

ESPN3’s 11-court offering – plus a feed in Spanish, one with three windows showing Ashe/Armstrong/Grandstand, and a feed with whip-around coverage of the first two hours of play – starts at 11 a.m. ET. ESPN’s coverage starts at 1 p.m., transitioning to ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ESPN’s extensive daily coverage will continue through the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 12, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Serena’s quarter of the draw is not only fraught with potential landmines – No. 8 Karolina Pliskova, No. 12 Belinda Bencic (the 18-year old Swiss who defeated Williams recently in Toronto) and No. 15 Agnieszka Radwanska, it is loaded with Americans: No. 19 Madison Keys, No. 23 Venus Williams and No. 29 Sloane Stephens, plus Madison Brengle, Irini Falconi, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe. The Williams sisters could meet in the quarterfinals.

In addition, the day play begins, SportsCenter on the Road – the 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. edition – will be on site with co-hosts Chris McKendry (a US Open host for ESPN) and Jay Crawford.

ESPN2’s live coverage of the opening Monday night will include the traditional Opening Night ceremony, highlighted by a performance from Arthur Ashe Stadium by multi-platinum singing artist Josh Groban. He will be performing songs off his current album, Stages.   Here, Groban and ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe prepare for how the singer can take part in the 2015 US Open: http://www.usopen.org/videos/.

Looking Ahead to Tuesday

The remaining first-round matches will be played Tuesday – including five-time champion No. 2 Roger Federer against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, 2012 champ and No. 3 Andy Murray who faces controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios and No. 5 Stan Wawrinka of Swizterland playing Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain on the men’s side. Women in action those days include No. 2 Simona Halep (vs. Marina Erakovic of New Zealand), No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki (vs. American Jamie Loeb), No. 5 Petra Kvitov (vs. Laura Siegemund), No. 6 Lucie Safarova (vs. Lesia Tsurenko), No. 9 Garbine Muguruza, the Wimbledon finalist (vs. Carina Witthoeft of Germany) and two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka at No. 20 facing Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

ESPN has televised the US Open since 2009. An 11-year agreement with the USTA for exclusivity was announced in May 2013. A complete look at ESPN’s plans for the 2015 US Open including the daily schedule ( http://es.pn/1ECwZws ), a look at new technology ( http://es.pn/1MzW0yM ) and a conference call on programming and production plans (  http://es.pn/1PoHn0D ).

ESPN & the 2015 US Open

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Mon Aug 31 10:45 a.m.

1 p.m.

US Open First Round ESPN3

ESPN

  6 p.m. US Open First Round ESPN2
Tue Sep 1 10:45 a.m.

1 p.m.

US Open First Round ESPN3

ESPN

Wed Sep 2 10:45 a.m.

1 p.m.

US Open Second Round ESPN3

ESPN

  6 p.m. US Open Second Round ESPN2
Thur Sep 3 10:45 a.m.

1 p.m.

US Open Second Round ESPN3

ESPN

  5 p.m. US Open Second Round ESPN2
Fri Sep 4 10:45 a.m.

1 p.m.

US Open Third Round ESPN3

ESPN

  6 p.m. US Open Third Round ESPN2
Sat Sep 5 10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.

US Open Third Round ESPN3

ESPN2

Sun Sep 6 10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.

US Open Round of 16 ESPN3

ESPN2

Mon Sept 7 10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.

US Open Round of 16 ESPN3

ESPN2

Tue Sep 8 10:45 a.m.

Noon

US Open Quarterfinals ESPN3

ESPN

Wed Sep 9 10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.

US Open Quarterfinals ESPN3

ESPN

  8 p.m. US Open Men’s Quarterfinals ESPN2
Thur Sep 10 Noon

7 p.m.

US Open Doubles Matches

US Open Women’s Semifinals

ESPN3

ESPN

Fri Sep 11 Noon US Open Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3
Sat Sep 12 Noon US Open Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Women’s Championship ESPN / ESPN3

ESPN Deportes

Sun Sep 13 Noon US Open Women’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship Blue Carpet Special ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN

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NOTES AND QUOTES FROM XFINITY SERIES PRE-RACE AND RACE COVERAGE FROM ROAD AMERICA ON NBCSN

Race Winner Paul Menard to Mike Massaro: “I’ve been really fortunate to win at some of the coolest tracks, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Road America is right there.”

Runner-up Ryan Blaney to Dave Burns: “We played the right strategy. They just got lucky with the race staying under caution.”

Third place Brian Scott to Kelli Stavast: “I was pretty frustrated with the officiating at the end of the race, just the inability to get the race back under green.”

NBCSN presented NASCAR XFINITY Series racing from Road America in Plymouth, Wis. this afternoon. The 14-turn, four-mile road course race culminated with a home-state win for Wisconsin native Paul Menard. Drivers spent the majority of the race chasing Chase Elliott, who led 23 laps of the 45-lap race. After Elliott lost the lead on lap No. 28, it was anyone’s race. Menard successfully held off Ryan Blaney’s No. 22 car to win on a course which has seen six different XFINITY drivers take the checkered flag over the last six years.

Saturday afternoon’s festivities began with the Countdown to Green pre-race show, followed by green-flag racing from the “Badger State.” Rick Allen called the action from the booth alongside 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Jarrett and former crew chief Frank Stoddard. Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro and Dave Burns contributed trackside from “America’s National Park of Speed.”

 

Position Driver Car #
1 Paul Menard 33
2 Ryan Blaney 22
3 Brian Scott 2
4 Chase Elliott 9
5 Darrell Wallace Jr. # 6

 

The following are highlights from this afternoon’s XFINITY pre-race and race coverage on NBCSN.

Chris Buescher before the race to Burns on his success at road courses: “I am an okay road racer. I love doing it and it is enjoyable. I feel like I can learn something new each and every time. The more we can learn, the better we can be in the end.”

Stoddard on XFINITY championship points leader Buescher: “He doesn’t make mistakes. He is continually on the track and hitting his marks all day long. That is very important and very impressive for a 22 year-old driver.”

Jarrett on the popularity of road course racing: “I think (road courses) have become the new short track. We have taken away a lot of the short tracks and that is really what this sport was built on.”

Jarrett on the road race favorite Boris Said: “He is just outstanding. Even though he hasn’t raced at this track in some time, he is going to be the one to watch today. Whatever the weather conditions, he is going to be the favorite in my mind.”

Jarrett on XFINITY Series championship contenders Chris Buescher, Elliott Sadler and Ty Dillon: “No mistakes are going to be the key today. They need to stay on track and make sure they don’t get off in the grass. A mistake may cost drivers a lap and a lot of spots and points. Speeding on pit road or the crew making a mistake is going to put drivers at the tail end of the longest line, or cost you a lap.”

Stoddard on the backward pitting at Road America: “Normally, we always have the wall on the driver’s side, where they can gauge a lot easier. When you have a car that is eight feet wide, and you are sitting on the left hand side it is very difficult for them to gauge where the wall is. You see drivers often have problems on these road courses where you pit backward.”

Jarrett on Chase Elliott’s inherent talent: “He has been so good on all his road courses. Watching him does remind you of his father. He is just as smooth as Bill was on the road courses.”

Jarrett with 6 laps to go: “The start of the race and the restarts have been rather calm. Now it is going to get exciting, when we go to green. These guys understand that there aren’t many laps to go. They have to give everything they can.”

Jarrett on Mendard’s win at Road America: “What a gamble that paid off by (crew chief) Danny Stockman Jr. They are here to win the race. The driving job that Paul Menard did with Bubba Wallace and the young Ryan Blaney on his bumper was just outstanding.”

Paul Mendard’s crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. on his win: “I still don’t think we had the best car today. We were a little off. We had to do something to get ourselves out front and we did it.”

Fourth place finisher Chase Elliott to Stavast: “Absolutely failed today. Way too many mistakes on my part, and I screwed it up for my guys. It is absolutely unacceptable.”

Third place Brian Scott to Stavast: “I was pretty frustrated with the officiating at the end of the race, just the inability to get the race back under green.”

Runner-up Ryan Blaney to Burns: “We played the right strategy. They just got lucky with the race staying under caution.”

Race Winner Menard to Massaro: “I’ve been really fortunate to win at some of the coolest tracks, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Road America is right there. They are all tracks I grew up at.”

***

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

 

PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH COMMENTATORS AUGUST 29-30

Sat., Aug. 29, 7:40 a.m.: Newcastle v. Arsenal on NBCSN, NBC UNIVERSOJim Proudfoot and Chris Waddle

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.: Manchester City v. Watford on NBCSN, NBC UNIVERSO– Gary Taphouse and Garry Birtles

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.:  Chelsea v. Crystal Palace on USA – Tony Jones and Tony Gale

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.:  Liverpool v. West Ham on Extra Time – Gary Weaver and Ray Houghton

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.: Aston Villa v. Sunderland on Extra Time – Jonathan Beck and Trevor Francis

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.: Bournemouth v. Leicester City on Extra Time  – Joe Speight and Barry Horne

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.:  Stoke City v. West Bromwich on Extra Time – Ian Crocker and Andy Walkekr

Sat., Aug. 29, 12:30 p.m.: Tottenham v. Everton on NBC, TELEMUNDO– Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux

Sun., Aug. 30, 8:25 a.m.: Southampton v. Norwich City on NBCSN – Jon Champion and Jim Beglin

Sun., Aug. 30, 11 a.m.: Swansea City v. Manchester United on NBCSN, TELEMUNDO– Arlo White and Lee Dixon 

@ESPNTennis & US Open: New Offerings on ESPN3 include Three-Court Screen for Entire Event

•    Action from 11 Courts plus Two Hours of Whip-Around Coverage Starts each Day the First Week
•    Three-Court Screen with Ashe, Armstrong and Grandstand Courts for Eight Days
•    Starting with QFs, Three-Window Screen will Focus on Ashe with Iso-Cam on each Player
•    First ESPN-Exclusive US Open Begins August 31

For ESPN’s first exclusive coverage of tennis’ US Open – from first ball to last ball August 31 – September 13 – fans will enjoy new offerings on ESPN3, in addition to the previously announced increase of court offerings, from seven to 11. Including a Spanish-language option, during daytime action ESPN3 will offer 14 separate feeds covering the action.

For the first 10 days of the tournament (through Wed., Sept. 9), the USTA’s 20-minute Inside the Baseline presented by IBM at 10:40 a.m. will lead into the start of play and set up the day’s action. In addition, at 7 p.m. Beyond the Baseline presented by Westin will recap the day session’s biggest developments.

Starting at 11 a.m., ESPN3’s exclusive coverage of each televised court will be supplemented for two hours by a specially produced “whip-around” feed, covering action from around the grounds at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Also, an additional feed, the “US Open Chase Review Multicam,” will debut. For the first eight days of the tournament (through Monday, Sept. 7) during the daytime action it will have three screens – the courts on Ashe, Armstrong and Grandstand. Starting with the quarterfinals Tuesday, Sept. 8, the three screens will cover matches on Ashe, as “ESPN3 Surround” did last year – with iso-cams on each player and the traditional TV production (started with the semifinals last year).

ESPN has televised the US Open since 2009. An 11-year agreement with the USTA for exclusivity was announced in May 2013. A complete look at ESPN’s plans for the 2015 US Open, including the daily schedule ( http://es.pn/1ECwZws ), a look at new technology ( http://es.pn/1MzW0yM ) and a conference call on programming and production plans ( http://es.pn/1PoHn0D ).

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Celebration Bowl introduces Atlanta’s John Grant as executive director

Atlanta businessman John Grant has been appointed executive director of the Celebration Bowl announced today. The new postseason college football bowl game, owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, is set to premiere at noon ET Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, live on ABC. The Celebration Bowl, which showcases the legacy, values and traditions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will pit the conference champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion.

With a distinguished history of professional success and leadership, Grant has led the 100 Black Men of Atlanta as chief executive officer for the past 14 years. He joined the organization in 1988 at age 30, becoming the 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s youngest member. Among his myriad awards and accolades, Grant most recently was selected as an inductee into the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau’s 2015 Hospitality Hall of Fame.

“John has long been committed to the Atlanta community, and we are excited to have him lead our efforts with the Celebration Bowl,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “He has demonstrated his leadership and guidance with the 100 Black Men of Atlanta for over a decade, and he has great passion for the tradition and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

Grant serves on several boards including the Atlanta Sports Council, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Central Atlanta Progress, Georgia Humanities Council, Emory University Center for Ethics, and the National Wildlife Federation. He also served on the working committee and advisory board for the Center for Civil and Human Rights along with the Early Learning Commission for the United Way.

“I am looking forward to leading a new tradition of celebrating the best in HBCU football with the Celebration Bowl,” Grant said. “ESPN leads the way in delivering the best college football experience, and we look to build a longstanding tradition of uplifting the African American community and the significance of HBCUs with a game that will kick off the college football bowl season in Atlanta.”

For more information, visit www.TheCelebrationBowl.com. ESPN Events also manages the college football season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, another game that features these two conferences and highlights the traditions of HBCUs, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, live on ESPN.

ESPN EVENTS
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games, 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as provides unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Orlando Kickoff (Florida); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (Hartford/Storrs, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 AT 12:45 P.M. ET

Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward and Executive Producer Sam Flood To Preview 2015 NFL Season

Media Conference Call Tuesday, September 1 at 12:45 p.m. ET

Dial 785-424-1666 to Participate

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 28, 2015 Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Hines Ward will join executive producer Sam Flood to preview the 2015 NFL season on a media conference call on Tuesday, September 1, at 12:45 p.m. ET. Media interested in participating should call 785-424-1666 and ask for the Football Night in America call.

 

  • WHAT: Football Night In America NFL season-preview conference call
  • WHO: Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward and Sam Flood
  • WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 12:45 p.m. ET
  • NUMBER: 785-424-1666

 

Football Night in America is NBC’s NFL primetime studio show, and the most watched studio show in sports. Football Night in America kicks off NBC’s NFL coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, leading into Sunday Night Football – America’s No. 1 primetime television show.

The season begins Thursday, Sept. 10 with NFL Kickoff on NBC, when the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by the Sunday Night Football opener on September 13, when New York Giants visit the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys.

 

-NBC SPORTS GROUP-