Division II announced today 19 regular-season football games that will be showcased on ESPN3 or NCAA social media as part of a new media agreement intended to promote the division on several platforms throughout the academic year.
The first 19 games of the football showcase are predetermined games, 17 of which are conference matchups. An additional three flex games — intended to highlight crucial matchups — will be finalized later in the season and played in November.
The new media agreement features two distribution models for football and basketball. For football, 11 games will be streamed on ESPN3, available on the ESPN app. The remaining 11 football games are part of the hybrid model, and they have the flexibility to be distributed on TV and online. The division will work with the TV partners of participating conferences and schools on the opportunity to air games on TV. These games also will be distributed online through NCAA social media accounts — specifically, Division II Facebook (facebook.com/ncaadivisionii) and Twitter (@NCAADII) — and could be distributed through conference or school digital networks.
The Nov. 3 home game for Northwest Missouri State against Fort Hays State has been selected as a part of the football showcase agreement and will be a hybrid model.
“Division II student-athletes will continue to see their successes highlighted on a national stage in the new broadcast agreement,” said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. “We are excited to continue to collaborate with ESPN to promote regular-season games. We are also excited to offer a hybrid model that could include linear and online distribution. Fans will have the chance to watch student-athletes who achieve success both on and off the field and participate in Division II’s Life in the Balance collegiate experience.”
Games included in the scheduled were broadcasts were selected from a pool of conference nominations. Of the 16 football-sponsoring conferences in Division II, 15 will be featured in at least one game. One conference declined to participate due to an existing media rights agreement.
Of the teams competing in the slate of games, 14 appeared in the 2017 Division II playoffs, and 15 begin the 2018 season ranked in the top 25 of the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll.
“The football showcase has an outstanding slate of games,” said Reid Amos, chair of the Division II Football Committee and commissioner of the Mountain East Conference. “We have the opportunity to continue to highlight our exciting brand of football in NCAA Division II, culminating with the championship in December.”
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multiscreen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers via ESPN.com and on smartphones, tablets and streaming devices through the ESPN app. The network currently is available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It also is available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
The Division II football showcase kicks off with two games Aug. 30. Texas A&M-Commerce, the defending national champion, will host Texas A&M-Kingsville in the first game at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time, which will be distributed on ESPN3. The second game will feature West Florida, the 2017 Division II runner-up, hosting Carson-Newman, also at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time, which will be distributed as part of the hybrid model.
Full schedule (all times Eastern)
|8:05 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30||Texas A&M-Kingsville at Texas A&M-Commerce (ESPN3)|
|8:05 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30||Carson-Newman at West Florida (Hybrid)|
|7:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8||Valdosta State vs. Fort Valley State (ESPN3)|
|7:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8||Southern Arkansas at Harding (ESPN3)|
|1:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15||Southern Connecticut State at New Haven (Hybrid)|
|7:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15||Wingate at Carson-Newman (ESPN3)|
|6:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22||Virginia Union at Winston-Salem State (ESPN3)|
|7:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22||Ohio Dominican at Findlay (Hybrid)|
|3:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29||Ashland at Ferris State (ESPN3)|
|7:05 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4||Notre Dame (Ohio) at Fairmont State (Hybrid)|
|9:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6||Central Washington at Azusa Pacific (ESPN3)|
|4:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13||Colorado State-Pueblo at Colorado Mesa (Hybrid)|
|7:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13||West Georgia at West Florida (ESPN3)|
|3:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20||Central Missouri at Pittsburg State (Hybrid)|
|3:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20||Truman at Southwest Baptist (Hybrid)|
|1:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27||West Chester at Kutztown (Hybrid)|
|1:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27||LIU Post at Assumption (ESPN3)|
|1:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3||Saginaw Valley State at Northwood (ESPN3)|
|2:35 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3||Fort Hays State at Northwest Missouri State (Hybrid)|
|Saturday, Nov. 3||To be determined|
|Saturday, Nov. 10||To be determined|
|Saturday, Nov. 10||To be determined|