Mercer football and ESPN release seven-game schedule
The events mark another historic feat for Mercer, as it will launch its first college football event and the first university-produced college football game to be carried on an ESPN network. It is Mercer’s second venture with ESPN3, after delivering three men’s basketball contests on the network in February.
“We believe an agreement with ESPN3 is a valuable asset from a visibility perspective,” Mercer Director of Athletics Jim Cole said. “The network affords us the opportunity to display our campus, facilities and student-athletes in a first-class manner to a large viewership.”
The 2014 season opener against Reinhardt on August 28 kicks off the seven-game schedule, followed by the Bears’ Southern Conference debut against Furman the following week.
The schedule also features two SoCon contests with Western Carolina (Oct. 18) and The Citadel (Nov. 1) as well as non-conference matchups against Ave Maria (Sept. 20), Austin Peay (Oct. 11) and Warner (Nov. 15).
Dan Matthews serves as the play-by-play announcer for the ESPN team after spending last season as a game analyst on A-Sun TV during broadcasts of the Bears’ men’s and women’s basketball games. Matthews also covers the Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Falcons, and high school football for Score Atlanta.
Former Atlanta Falcon and Georgia Bulldog D.J. Shockley joins the crew to take on color commentary duties. Shockley co-hosted the Falcons’ post-game show on 790 The Zone as well as The Dawg Report and SEC Football Tonight on Comcast. He also serves as a color commentator on WSBTV’s high school football broadcasts and analyzes the Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons on Bulldog Gameday and Sports Night.
Experienced sideline reporter Hannah Chalker rounds out the announcer crew, having worked for a host of major networks including ESPN, Fox Sports South, Fox News, Comcast Sports Southeast and NBC Universal. She joined the Comcast Sports Southeast broadcast team in 2013, hosting a weekly sports show for the University of Georgia as well as serving as a sideline reporter for Southeastern Conference and Conference USA games.
ESPN3, which carried several Mercer basketball games during the team’s run to the NCAA Tournament, is currently available to more than 92 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel on computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
All games included in the ESPN3 package are available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Mercer will continue to have every football game broadcasted on the radio locally on New Country 96.5 FM (WPCH). Each broadcast is also accessible for free online via iHeartRadio.
The “Voice of the Bears”, Rick Cameron, returns for his 10th season calling play-by-play for Mercer’s radio broadcasts. This season, Cameron is joined by former NFL defensive back Roger Jackson as analyst and Megan Trammell as sideline reporter.