On Thursday, UConn announced that they partnered with CW20 and FOX61, both owned by Tribune Media Company, to broadcast up to 10 men’s hockey and baseball games between the two channels during the 2018-19 athletic year.
“I am excited that our partners at FOX61 and CW20 will be televising up to 10 games this season that will showcase our men’s hockey and baseball teams,” athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. “I’m glad our fans across the state will have a chance to watch these two teams on television and the added exposure will be of great benefit to our athletic programs.”
Six men’s hockey dates have already been announced and all six will be at home against Hockey East opponents, distributed throughout the season.
Both home games against Boston College, on Dec. 6 and Feb. 1, will be on TV in addition to games against New Hampshire (Jan. 25), Merrimack (Feb. 9), Vermont (March 1) as well as the season finale against UMass on March 9.
Baseball’s season schedule has yet to be released and the broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.
With four games remaining in the deal and television broadcasts at J.O. Christian Field likely proving tough logistically due to the facilities, this means two conference series at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, like last year, are likely in the cards.
The horse that is UConn athletics being cash-strapped was beaten dead multiple years ago, but any sort of money that the athletic department gets in for products that it’s already putting on the field and rink is a good thing, not only for the money that Tribune paid for the rights but also for the exposure.
College hockey is one of the NCAA’s best-kept secrets and getting more eyeballs on one of UConn’s more exciting teams can pay dividends if the team keeps up with the progress it made last season.
In addition, the baseball team made the NCAA tournament last year and has been one of the school’s most consistently successful teams since Jim Penders became the head coach in 2004 while playing in one of the best conferences in the sport the last few seasons. This was a good match with two teams that really round out an athletic department well.