SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Southern Conference schools will produce 48 home football games for broadcast in 2017, with 36 to air exclusively on ESPN3, nine set for a new regional network of broadcast TV stations and three on Stadium, a new multi-platform sports network.
Southern Conference programs have produced select football content for ESPN3 since 2014, but this season marks the first time that all members are producing games for the network, which now reaches more than 90 million households.
The new broadcast TV network will be branded as “College Football Down South,” and will be operated by 7 Communications, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based production company. Distribution will include broadcast stations throughout the Carolinas and Virginia as well as in Macon and Atlanta in Georgia. The nine games produced for the package will also have coverage on ESPN3.
“We’re pleased that SoCon football will be a significant portion of the College Football Down South content on these broadcast stations,” SoCon Commissioner John Iamarino said. “It’s a good way for our programs to gain additional exposure in our territorial footprint on broadcast TV.”
Three league games (Chattanooga at VMI on Sept. 23; Chattanooga at Mercer on Oct. 14; and Furman at Samford on Nov. 18) will air on Stadium, a new 24/7, linear, multi-platform sports network with both digital and OTA broadcast feeds formed through a combination of Campus Insiders, 120 Sports and American Sports Network.
Each of the SoCon’s remaining 36 home football games will air on ESPN3.
SoCon teams will make several other appearances on linear and digital platforms. Chattanooga will face Jacksonville State in the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff in Montgomery, Alabama, on Aug. 26 in a contest that will air nationally on ESPN to open the college football season.
The SEC announced last week that three of its members’ contests against SoCon teams will air on SEC Network Alternate channels, and Furman’s contest at NC State on Sept. 16 is slated to appear on the ACC Network. Additionally, Western Carolina’s game at Gardner-Webb on Sept. 16 will air on ESPN3.
On Nov. 18, SoCon teams will take on two SEC and two ACC opponents, with broadcast information for those contests to be revealed by those respective leagues later in the season.
2017 Southern Conference football production schedule (all times Eastern)
Aug. 31 Kennesaw State at Samford 7 Communications/ESPN3 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 Newberry at The Citadel 7 Communications/ESPN3 6 p.m.
Sept. 9 Presbyterian at The Citadel 7 Communications/ESPN3 6 p.m.
Sept. 23 Chattanooga at VMI Stadium 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 Chattanooga at Mercer Stadium 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 ETSU at Western Carolina 7 Communications/ESPN3 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Mercer at Furman 7 Communications/ESPN3 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 VMI at The Citadel 7 Communications/ESPN3 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 Chattanooga at Wofford 7 Communications/ESPN3 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 The Citadel at Furman 7 Communications/ESPN3 2 p.m.
Nov. 11 ETSU at Samford 7 Communications/ESPN3 3 p.m.
Nov. 18 Furman at Samford Stadium 3:30 p.m.
All other home games on ESPN3