Fans unable to help pack out Williams Stadium during the first several years of Liberty's move to the FBS level will be able to follow all the action on ESPN networks.
Liberty Athletics and ESPN today announced they have reached a multi-year agreement on the exclusive media rights to Liberty's home football games.
The agreement begins with Liberty's season opener against in-state foe Old Dominion on Sept. 1, followed by the Flames' home match-ups against Norfolk State (Sept. 15), North Texas (Sept. 22), Troy (Oct. 13), Idaho State (Oct. 20) and New Mexico State (Nov. 24).
Liberty has produced extensive amounts of content that was distributed on the ESPN App for nearly a decade, including more than 125 events in 2017-18. The upcoming six-game 2018 home football schedule will be streamed on ESPN3.
"We are excited to extend our agreement with ESPN as our football program ascends into the Football Bowl Subdivision," said Director of Athletics, Ian McCaw. "This relationship will afford Flames Nation an opportunity to follow Liberty football throughout the nation on ESPN platforms."
A unique aspect of this agreement with ESPN is that Liberty's own LFSN team produces content that is carried on ESPN digital platforms for each of the home games. This Emmy Award-winning team has produced more than 300 events for national distribution over the past two years.
The talent team for Liberty/ESPN games will be Matt Warner (play-by-play), Joe Jauch (analyst), and Bobbie Bohlig (sideline). The LFSN coverage will also include pre-game, halftime and postgame (Facebook Live) analysis from a special set which has been included in the east side of the Williams Stadium expansion project. The talent team will include Rett McGibbon, D.J. Jordan, Matt Camire and Patrick Kelly.
The agreement does provide for ESPN to choose any home football event to be aired on one of its linear networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU).
As Liberty moves to status as an FBS independent football program, the live coverage rights are Liberty's to offer to a distributor.
There are six FBS independent programs, which have rights agreements: Notre Dame (NBC), Brigham Young (ESPN), Army (CBS), UMass (11 Sports/NESN) and New Mexico State (FOX Arizona).
Rise With Us: The Process
On Feb. 16, 2017, the NCAA approved Liberty's waiver request to begin the two-year FBS reclassification process. Liberty completed its final season as a FCS program in 2017, playing as a member of the Big South Conference.
The Flames will host their first FBS home game against Old Dominion on Sept. 1, the first of four FBS teams to visit Williams Stadium in 2018 to meet the FBS reclassification criteria. The 2018 home schedule also features FBS matchups against North Texas (Sept. 22), Troy (Oct. 13) and New Mexico State (Nov. 24).
In the event that Liberty is invited to the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Flames Club members will have priority for tickets and other associated events and privileges.
Fans can support Liberty Football by joining the Flames Club, which exists to underwrite Liberty Athletics' three-fold mission to train Champions for Christ, provide a world-class student-athlete experience and achieve victory with integrity.
Flames Club membership starts at just $60 and members can enjoy preferred parking, seating and pregame hospitality benefits, based upon membership level. For more information about the Flames Club, please call 434-582-CLUB (2582) or email FlamesClub@liberty.edu.
For more information about becoming a football season ticket holder, please contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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