COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced its 2017 television broadcast schedule, which includes a renewal of its simulcast television partnership for the 2017 Major League Soccer season.
The 2017 television package once again features each of the 32 regionally televised Crew SC matches on a broadcast station in Columbus as well as Spectrum Sports throughout its regional subscription base in Ohio. The two additional regular-season matches will be televised nationally with one on ESPN and one on UniMas. Crew SC’s regionally televised matches will also be simulcast on BCSN2 for Buckeye Broadband subscribers in the Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio areas.
As part of the arrangement, there will once again be no territory restrictions and continues to guarantee that Black & Gold supporters, regardless of location within North America, will have the ability to watch all of Crew SC's regionally televised matches this year. Viewers will have the option to catch all regionally televised Crew SC matches in multiple ways. Regionally televised matches will be available on one of the following local broadcast stations: The CW Columbus, ABC-6, FOX-28, or MyTVColumbus. In addition, all regionally televised matches will be simulcast on Spectrum Sports on channel 1311HD and channel 311 in Ohio as well as channel 510 in Columbus and Northern Kentucky. The CW Columbus (WWHO-53) will serve as the flagship over-the-air station for Crew SC regionally televised matches and is expected to air 25 matches in 2017. Spectrum Sports is the cable television home of Crew SC in Columbus and across the entire Spectrum Sports footprint in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Western Pennsylvania. Subscribers to MLS Direct Kick via cable or satellite provider or MLS Live on digital platforms will have access to all regionally televised Crew SC matches with no local territory restrictions. BCSN and BCSN2 are available on HD on channels 608 and 609 as well as on channel 109 in the Greater Toledo area.
All 927,040 television viewing households in Ohio’s capital city have the option to watch regionally televised Crew SC matches on a Columbus broadcast station, Spectrum Sports, MLS Direct Kick or MLS Live. Outside Columbus, supporters within the Spectrum Sports footprint can access the action via Spectrum Sports, MLS Direct Kick or MLS Live in addition to BCSN2 for Buckeye Broadband subscribers in the Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio areas.
Columbus viewers will have access to all 32 regionally televised 2017 Crew SC matches via simulcast on local broadcast stations, with 25 contests airing live and in HD on The CW Columbus. Crew SC is scheduled to make two appearances on the Columbus ABC affiliate (WSYX ABC-6), one appearance on the Columbus FOX affiliate (WTTE FOX-28) and four scheduled appearances on MyTVColumbus (WSYX-6.2). Some Columbus area viewers may require an antenna to view the four scheduled MyTVColumbus broadcasts. Spectrum Sports is set to provide the most comprehensive Crew SC coverage on television. Additional and exclusive Crew SC shoulder programming, including 30-minute pre-match and post-match shows, as well as the weekly 30-minute "Access Crew SC" magazine program, is set to air on Spectrum Sports.
Crew SC opens the 2017 campaign at home on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. ET. Crew SC Matchday – the special pre-match show – begins exclusively on Spectrum Sports at 1:30 p.m. ET, with the match airing at 2:00 p.m. ET, simulcast on ABC-6 in Columbus and Spectrum Sports throughout Ohio. Post-match coverage of the MAPFRE Stadium Opening Match, presented by MAPFRE Insurance, is set to follow exclusively on Spectrum Sports in Ohio.
The partnership also sees the return of Neil Sika and Dwight Burgess to the Crew SC broadcast booth, with Sika on play-by-play and Burgess providing analysis. Sika is set to begin his 11th complete season with Crew SC after joining the club's radio coverage full-time in 2007. Burgess, now the Head Soccer Coach at Wittenberg University, returns for his 22nd season on the microphone, bringing more than three decades of soccer-specific broadcast experience. The duo served as co-hosts during last season's Crew SC television coverage on Spectrum Sports.
Spectrum Sports’ Marisa Contipelli will join ABC-6/FOX-28’s Clay Hall and ColumbusCrewSC.com’s Alex Stec on the talent team.
Hall, who will once again provide sideline coverage for select matches, is the Sports Director of ABC-6 and FOX-28. He has covered Central Ohio sports for 17 years and helped ABC-6 and FOX-28 to be named Best Sports Operation in Ohio by the Associated Press on two occasions (2001, 2010). He and the sports team also won a regional Emmy Award for Ohio State pre-game coverage in 2003.
Contipelli is set to return to the broadcast and has worked as a Video Journalist, Associate Producer and Sideline Reporter for Spectrum Sports since 2014 and also serves as the in-arena host for Ohio State University men’s basketball. Prior to coming to Columbus, she worked for SportsTime Ohio in Cleveland and also was the Cleveland Indians’ In-Game Host.
Stec once again is set to provide sideline coverage for select home matches in addition to continuing to provide content for ColumbusCrewSC.com. She joined Crew SC as the club’s Brand Journalist in 2015 from Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Ohio, where she worked as a Production Assistant and a Freelance Video Editor, respectively. She has reported on multiple sports for live broadcasts, including high-profile events such as the 2015 OHSAA Girls’ Basketball State Championships, high school football games, SportsTime Ohio updates and interview packages for the Cleveland Indians.
The club will also have all 34 matches broadcast via English and Spanish radio calls, with further details on 2017 partnerships to be announced in the near future.
Crew SC will next face tournament-host Charleston Battery on Wednesday (5 p.m. ET) before closing the Carolina Challenge Cup against the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET). The 2017 Major League Soccer opens on March 4 against the Chicago Fire at MAPFRE Stadium, presented by MAPFRE Insurance. The full Crew SC preseason and regular schedule can be downloaded and synced on iOS and Android devices.