Comcast SportsNet scores exclusive TV rights to IHSA championship events

SHARE Comcast SportsNet scores exclusive TV rights to IHSA championship events

Naperville Central playedLoyola Academy in the IHSAClass 8A championshipfootball game last year in DeKalb. | Patrick Gleason / For Sun-Times

Comcast SportsNet isthe official television home of dozens of state high school sports championshipevents under a longterm partnershipunveiled Tuesday.

The regional sports net hasexclusiveTV rights to air 59 IHSA (Illinois High School Association) championship events — more than 160 hours’ worth — each academicyear, including live coverage of all eight football championships and four playoff games. The programs will be produced byPlayOn! Sports.

The live coverage also extends to 32 boys/girls basketball championship games meaning every semifinal, consolation and championship face off.

Comcast SportsNet will carry an additional 15 IHSA championship match ups covering boys/girls soccer, girls volleyball, individual wrestling and competitive dance/cheer competitions.

Additional IHSA programming includes “High School Lites,” airing at 11 p.m. Fridays and the annual “IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show” at 8 p.m. Oct. 25.

“This new, expanded partnership with the IHSA and PlayOn! Sports is a significant moment for not only our network, but also for our viewers,” said network Vice President and General Manager Phil Bedella in a written statement announcing the deal. “Our state has a multitude of gifted student-athletes that the majority of our viewers may not be aware of at this time and that will certainly change going forward. This agreement will now enable us to showcase these standout athletes with over 160 hours of local preps championship coverage per scholastic year, which is a perfect complement to our already dedicated in-depth on-air/online coverage of the Illinois preps scene.”

A Comcast SportsNet spokesman said he could not elaborate on the specifics of the agreement, but he did call it a“multi-year deal.”

Here’s a look at the IHSA championship events Comcast SportsNet will cover this academic year:

IHSA Football Playoffs (12 games)

  • LIVE – Eight (Class 1A-8A) state championship games (to be held Nov. 28-29)
  • LIVE – Four playoff match-ups leading up to the state championships (to be held Nov. 1, 8, 15 & 22)

IHSA Basketball State Championship Tournament (32 games)

  • LIVE – Girls Class 1A-4A state tournament semifinals (8 games), consolation (4 games), and championship game (4 games) – to be held the weekends of Feb. 27-28 & Mar. 6-7, 2015
  • LIVE – Boys Class 1A-4A state tournament semifinals (8 games), consolation (4 games), and championship game (4 games) – to be held the weekends of Mar. 13-14 & Mar. 20-21, 2015

Additional IHSA Championship events (15 total, all delayed telecasts)

  • Boys Soccer (Class 1A-3A) – airing in Fall of 2014
  • Girls Volleyball (Class 1A-4A) – airing in Fall of 2014
  • Competitive Dance – airing in Winter of 2015
  • Competitive Cheerleading – airing in Winter of 2015
  • Individual Wrestling (Class 1A-3A) – airing in Winter of 2015
  • Girls Soccer (Class 1A-3A) – airing in Spring of 2015

(NOTE: Exact air dates/times/channel locations for all upcoming IHSA Championship events will be announced at a later date.)

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