ECAC Announces New TV Deal

The ECAC has announced a new television deal for this season with New England Sports Network (NESN) and the YES Network, which includes one regular-season broadcast, five ECAC tournament telecasts, and live coverage of the women’s ECAC tournament final.

The package also includes a weekly 30-minute show in February entitled “This Week in ECAC Hockey.”

“The ECAC is thrilled to continue its long-standing relationship with NESN and equally excited to join forces with the YES Network,” said ECAC commissioner Phil Buttafuoco. “These agreements with the two premier sports networks on the East Coast will be instrumental in helping the ECAC secure excellent exposure while also enabling us to continue to provide opportunities for our fans and supporters to see our programs in action.”

The first game of the package will be a regular-season meeting at Yale against Cornell, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1. One week later, a men’s first-round tournament game will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, followed by a men’s quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. The men’s semifinals, which will be held at 3:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21, and championship games, to be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, will be broadcast live from the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y.

The women’s championship will be broadcast live at noon Sunday, March 16 on NESN and YES. The game will be held at Brown University’s Meehan Auditorium.

Long-time ECAC broadcasters Tom Caron and Bob Norton will provide the play-by-play and color commentary, respectively, for the men’s contests; Caron will team with Ellen Weinberg on the women’s championship broadcast.

Caron currently serves as studio host of NESN’s Boston Bruins broadcasts, Boston Red Sox field reporter and play-by-play announcer for the American Hockey League’s [nl]Providence Bruins. Norton, a familiar face as the color commentator for NCAA tournament games, serves as the color analyst on the ECAC Football Game-of-the-Week package on NESN. Weinberg, a former ECAC hockey player, has provided commentary for each of the ECAC’s televised women’s championships. She has also worked extensively for ESPN and the NCAA, providing commentary and sideline reports at events such as the Women’s Frozen Four, the Women’s College Cup, the ESPN Regional Game of the Week, and WUSA’s New York Power games.

Note: NESN is Ch. 623 on DirecTV systems. YES is Ch. 622.

2003 ECAC Hockey Television Schedule

March 1 — Men’s Regular-Season Game (Cornell at Yale), 7 p.m.

March 8 — Men’s First-Round Game, TBD, 8 p.m.

March 15 — Men’s Quarterfinals Game, TBD, 7 p.m.

March 16 — Women’s Championship Game, at Brown University, Providence, R.I., Noon

March 21 — Men’s Semifinals Games, Pepsi Arena, Albany, N.Y., 3:30 and 7 p.m.

March 22 — Men’s Championship Game, Pepsi Arena, Albany, N.Y., 7 p.m.