The 2012-13 Creighton men’s basketball team is getting a lot of buzz heading into the season. All-American Doug McDermott leads a team that returns almost all of last season’s players, and the national media has pegged the Jays as a potential Sweet Sixteen team.
Television exposure for teams like the Bluejays or even the Missouri Valley Conference as a whole has always been a challenge. However, over the past decade, Creighton has found its way on a lot of television sets in Omaha, especially for games that were out of town.
Thanks to improved technology, sports fans have increasing opportunities to see their favorite teams on TV or via a Web stream on the computer or handheld device no matter where they are. It is becoming difficult to figure out all of the places where you can find the game you want to watch; a good problem, no doubt.
The Missouri Valley Conference as a whole will have at least 120 games on TV or across the web through national outlets like ESPN and FOX Sports as well as local market coverage for specific MVC teams. This season, Creighton has five different TV partners where you will find at least 27 (and up to 29) of their 31 regular season games with the help of some additional resources in other markets and other platforms. Here is your guide on how to watch games on TV this season.
It is best to get these out of the way now. As of right now, there are only two games not scheduled to be on some sort of TV or broadcast platform.
- Nov. 9 vs. North Texas
- Nov. 18 vs. Presbyterian
If you are not actually in the arena to watch these games, then your best bet is to get the GoCreighton webcast package for the month of November. Cost for a monthly pass is $10.95 and a four-month pass is $34.95. A 24-hour pass ($4.99) or a 48-hour pass ($5.99) is also available that begins the moment you sign up. People have their own opinion on the steaming here, but it is your only legal option of watching video of these games.
Like we said, only get a monthly pass if you do this option because the rest of the games throughout the season will be on TV or a different web streaming option that might work out better.
ESPN owns the rights to all MVC games as the league heads into the second year of a 5-year contract with the company. The channels here are available on satellite systems as well as most cable systems across the nation. Most sports fans are intimately familiar with these channels. The Bluejays will have potentially 8 games on ESPN networks this season:
- 11/23 vs. Wisconsin (in Las Vegas), ESPN2
- 11/24 vs. Arizona St or Arkansas (in Las Vegas), ESPNU (or ESPN3 if consolation)
- 1/19 @ Wichita State, ESPN2
- 1/27 @ Southern Illinois, ESPNU (maybe)
- 2/9 vs. Illinois State, ESPN2
- 2/16 @ Evansville, ESPNU
- 2/24 @ BracketBuster, ESPN2/ESPNU
- 3/2 vs. Wichita State, ESPN/ESPN2 (maybe)
The game at SIU is still in the air because ESPN has options this season with windows before the game to decide if it will be on ESPNU or exclusively on ESPN3. ESPN3 is a different monster that we can tackle later.
The MVC is the top conference left in the BracketBusters event. There are 13 games scheduled to be on ESPN Networks during this event. If Creighton isn’t playing in one of the televised games, then something really went wrong this season.
The March 2 game against the Shockers is a maybe because it is MVC Wildcard weekend where it will be decided a week or two before which MVC games will be selected for the ESPN networks or Fox Sports Net. But if things go as expected this season, this Senior Day game will be on an ESPN channel.
For those in Omaha, you can find the channel listings for these channels here. If you are more of the web streaming type of person, the ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU channels are available streamed to your computer using the WatchESPN App. However, be aware that WatchESPN for these channels is only available through select carriers.
The MVC is in year two of a 3-year contract with FOX Sports (subleased by ESPN) to carry broadcasts. The MVC only puts conference games on this outlet because that is what the league coaches would rather have on here instead of non-conference contests. Creighton will have at least 3 contests on Fox Sports Net during the regular season (see Senior Day game for a potential fourth game):
- 1/2 @ Illinois State
- 1/23 @ Drake
- 1/30 vs. Missouri State
FOX Sports Net for the MVC consists of FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX College Sports, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago (available on satellite and on cable in MVC markets).
One other little wrinkle for the rest of the nation outside the MVC six-state footprint is that these games are also available streaming across the nation on ESPN3. ESPN3 keeps showing up. Let’s attack that monster.
A few years ago, ESPN launched ESPN3 as a video streaming platform to broadcast select events that they could not fit onto their other television channels or even to simulcast some events on the main ESPN channels. Over the past three years, they have experimented with a lot of different things with this platform. One of those things has been providing ESPN3 exclusive events where they will use ESPN graphics and commentary teams, but only make the event available through ESPN3 and nowhere else.
Part of the new MVC contracts signed last year was the inclusion of ESPN3 for exclusive content. While some people may not consider this an actual TV channel, for all intents and purposes, this is what it is and the younger generation has embraced this as a valid television platform. This season, Creighton will have 3 (maybe 4; see that game at SIU) games exclusively on ESPN3:
- 12/1 vs. St. Joseph’s
- 12/6 @ Nebraska
- 1/15 vs. Northern Iowa
- 1/27 @ Southern Illinois (maybe; could be ESPNU)
Here are the Internet providers that offer ESPN3 to their customers.
ESPN3 is also being used for other games that are not exclusive. We’ll hit those even farther down the list. But the important thing for Bluejays fans to note: 20 games will be available on ESPN3 platform this season. I think there are many that would consider this a channel.
KMTV has been a partner with Creighton basketball over the past 12 years, broadcasting 92 Creighton games to fans in the Omaha Metro during that time. The local CBS affiliate will again provide coverage this season with 5 games on the schedule.
Bonus: for Jays fans outside the KMTV footprint, the games below will be on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3:
- 12/29 vs. Evansville
- 1/5 vs. Indiana State
- 1/8 vs. Drake
- 1/11 @ Missouri State
- 2/2 vs. Bradley
The video quality hasn’t always been the best, but this season the production is being taken over by Niles Media Group which will allow the games to be broadcast in digital widescreen 16×9. That should make fans a little happier when watching the broadcast.
KMTV is available to Cox Cable customers in Omaha as well as Time Warner Cable customers in Lincoln stretching as far west as York and southeastern Nebraska including Beatrice. It is available to through satellite carriers DirecTV and Dish in the local market as well as over the air through rabbit ears and digital tuners.
Nebraska Public Television has been a big Creighton supporter over the years and introduced Creighton fans to locally produced HD programming including basketball games. Being a third or fourth tier partner, NET has had few choices in the past of what games they could broadcast and usually ended up taking conference games, most notably Evansville.
This season NET will broadcast three non-conference games:
- 11/14 vs. UAB
- 12/9 vs. Akron
- 12/19 vs. Tulsa
NET is available over the air across the state of Nebraska. Here is a coverage map. It is available on Omaha on Cox channel 12 or in HD on 1012. It is available on DirecTV channel 26 and on Dish Network 9147 in the local DMA market which is Nebraska and parts of Iowa.
NOTE: NET streams the TV broadcasts online at NETNebraska.org. In addition, the games will be on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.
Cox Communications is a new entry into the Creighton basketball market. The partnership with Cox has usually been broadcasting out of market games on channel 2 that would not be available otherwise. This season Cox will actually produce its own Creighton game coverage for 3 games.
- 11/20 vs. Longwood
- 11/28 vs. Boise State
- 2/19 vs. Southern Illinois
Cox partnered with Creighton earlier this year to produce men’s soccer and volleyball games on Cox Channel 2, which is only available to Cox subscribers in Omaha. However, the games this season will be available on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.
ESPN Full Court/ESPN3
ESPN Full Court was established over the past decade as a pay-per-view package similar to the NFL Sunday Ticket or NBA League Pass to get out of market games to fans in other markets. For example, Kentucky fans living in Oregon could get most Kentucky games through ESPN Full Court.
With the proliferation of more sports channels providing games and those channels being available across the nation, the significance of ESPN Full Court has sort of taken a back seat. However, local market games, like those produced for Creighton by KMTV, Cox, and NET still fill the channels and make the package interesting.
To make it more interesting, ESPN decided to use their new ESPN3 platform to make games available to more people as well. Three years ago, all the ESPN Full Court games were available on ESPN3 and they are again today.
In addition to the Cox 2, NET, and KMTV games that will be on ESPN Full Court/ESPN3, there is one additional game that could be available on this package.
- 2/13 @ Northern Iowa — if there is an uplink for this game to satellite, it will be on ESPN Full Court/ESPN3.
The good news for those out of town; you can purchase the ESPN Full Court package through your cable or satellite provider or if you have ESPN3 they will be available on there.
Here are a few single games to be aware of:
The Pac-12 Network is a new TV channel, and for the Pac-12 markets could be several channels, that will broadcast any basketball game that is not on a major network. This is very similar to the Big 10 Network and how that works. Creighton will have a game on there this season:
- 12/15 @ California
Cox in Omaha carries the Pac-12 network on channel 217 (in HD on 1217). For other markets that carry the channel, find yours here. Also, if your carrier has the channel, you can also access the video over a web stream.
A subchannel of KMTV, Creighton has partnered with them and other MVC markets producing games locally to carry a couple of road games.
- 2/6 @ Indiana State
- 2/27 @ Bradley
KMTV-2 is available in Omaha over the air on channel 3.2 or on Cox Cable channel 125. The only bad news is that if you do not live in the Omaha area or are in the local area of Peoria or Terre Haute for the respective games, then you may not end up seeing these games on TV. That may be the other situation where you would need the GoCreighton streaming package for the month.