ABC5 Sports Desk
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake University men's basketball team will play at least six games on the ESPN family of networks, the Missouri Valley Conference announced Thursday as part of its 30-game broadcast package with ESPN.
Three of Drake's games televised by ESPN network will come in conference play with the other three being part of the Anaheim Classic in November.
"ESPN's commitment to The Valley is evident by the quantity and diversity of this package of telecasts," MVC commissioner Doug Elgin said. "ESPN provides a national stage for our sports. And the creation and continued expansion of ESPNU as a national platform and the emergence of ESPN3 only heightens the amount of national exposure for our league."
The Bulldogs' first ESPN televised game will be against California in the opening round of the Anaheim Classic on Nov. 22 on ESPN2. The second game of the three-game tournament against either Rice or Georgia Tech will be carried by ESPN2 or ESPNU with the final game coming on an ESPN network to be determined. All three games in Anaheim will be available on ESPN3, ESPN's live multi-screen sports network available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
The first MVC game as part of the package comes on Jan. 20 at Northern Iowa on ESPNU or ESPN3 followed by the Bulldogs' game at Missouri State on Jan. 27 on the same networks. The final guaranteed ESPN contest is the Feb. 10 game at Evansville on ESPNU or ESPN3. Additionally, the Bulldogs' Sears Bracketbusters game in February has the potential to be one of 13 Bracketbusters game televised by the ESPN networks.
The Bulldogs begin the 2012-13 season on Nov. 3 with a home exhibition contest against Southwest Baptist at 7:05 p.m. and open the season in earnest on Nov. 10 against William Jewell at 11 a.m. in the Knapp Center.