Thursday, September 24, 2015

UMD Notes: TV Coverage, Radio Updates, Streaming Options, Etc.

We're ten days out from UMD's exhibition game against Lakehead, and 15 days from the regular season opener against Bemidji State. Time for some updates on media coverage.

--> First, UMD had a few games selected for television in announcements over the last week or so. CBS Sports Network and its wonderful crew won't be in Duluth this year, but the Bulldogs will be on twice. Games Feb. 19 at North Dakota and Feb. 26 at St. Cloud State will be televised on the network. CBSSN will continue with its NCHC Frozen Faceoff coverage from Target Center as well.

Fox Sports North has added four UMD games to its schedule. FSN will have the Bulldogs' series against Minnesota Oct. 16 (at Minnesota) and Oct. 17 (in Duluth). They will also televise UMD's home game against Colorado College Feb. 5 as a sort of lead-in to the network's massive Hockey Day Minnesota coverage from Bayfront Park the next day. Also, the game Feb. 27 at St. Cloud State will be on FSN.

I'm not sure what NBC's plans are for Notre Dame hockey coverage, but I suppose a broadcast or stream of UMD's games there could still be added. Haven't heard anything on that.

--> I've seen it brought up on Twitter, and a couple have asked me my thoughts on this. For the record, I've been first in line to criticize FSN and its unwillingness to even recognize the existence of the state's non-Gopher college hockey teams on Hockey Day Minnesota. It's about the only negative to what is a great day for the sport and the network.

So some of you, knowing that I've been pretty upfront about this over the years, might think it's strange that I'm not first in line to rip FSN for picking up the Gophers-Penn State game on Feb. 6 and not UMD's home game, which is a few hundred yards from Bayfront Park.

This time around, I'll back them on the decision.

I doubt this is FSN's reasoning, but here is why.

The high school games at Bayfront are scheduled for 10am (Denfeld-Eveleth) and 1pm (East-Lakeville North). Anyone who's ever watched these games knows that the 1pm game rarely ends before 3:30. The college game -- now scheduled to be Gophers-Penn State -- starts at 4, because the Wild aren't at home and have no control over start times. They play at 7.

For anyone who wants to attend the high school games and UMD's game against Colorado College, a 4pm start would make the goal practically hopeless, unless they leave the East game early or resolve to miss the start of the UMD game.

Hockey Day Minnesota being in Duluth, and at such a great venue as Bayfront Park, is a big deal. It should be treated that way. It's going to be a wonderful day in a great hockey city, so I'm fine with anything that allows people to experience as much of the day as possible, even if FSN didn't make this decision with that idea in mind.

Selfishly, I love it. If my son doesn't have games of his own that day, it's an opportunity for me to take him to Bayfront without having to worry about leaving early to get to Amsoil for a 4pm UMD game. I can deal with that.

I get that Duluth territorials want Duluth splattered all over Hockey Day Minnesota. But Duluth will be featured on FSN more between 7pm Feb. 5 and 4pm Feb. 6 than it probably has ever been in any 21-hour period prior to that. Spin it however you want, but Hockey Day Minnesota will be a win for Duluth ... especially if the weather cooperates.

--> Besides UMD's TV coverage (all non-FSN home games locally on My9 and streamed via the package), we of course have you covered on the radio. 92.1 The Fan is your home for Bulldog hockey in Duluth, and we have a growing Red Rock Radio Bulldog Sports Network to carry games throughout northern Minnesota and even into western Wisconsin. You can also stream every game via the FREE iHeartRadio app. Download it today, search out 92.1 The Fan, and make us one of your favorites. It's a fantastic app that allows you to take the Bulldogs wherever you go.

LISTEN TO THE RADIO (Sorry, it's a Twitter bit of mine).

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