In all, eight men’s contests and eight women’s games will be available in over 40 million homes, as Fox College Sports and occasionally Fox Sports World broadcast HSSN’s feed around the globe.
“Today’s announced partnership between WKU and Fox College Sports places Hilltopper and Lady Topper basketball among the nation’s elite basketball programs with respect to national and international television visibility and exposure,” said Dr. Wood Selig, WKU Director of Athletics. “It is a testament to the quality of our basketball programs and the quality of our television production that such a substantial programming partnership has been forged. Season-long exposure in over 40 million homes with a potential audience of greater than 100 million viewers each night should serve WKU well.”
“This is a great opportunity to elevate the national exposure of Western Kentucky University and its’ athletic programs to another level. We at WKYU-PBS are so pleased to be a partner in this project,” WKU Director of Educational Telecommunications Jack Hanes added. “Since the late 1970s, we’ve been bringing WKU basketball to viewers in South Central Kentucky. In the fall of 2000, we expanded coverage to the Southeastern United States with the birth of our Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network. Now in this partnership with Fox Sports, we’re able to give the Hilltoppers regularly scheduled national exposure.
“In addition, this continues to expand the experience of sports television production for students in Western’s Broadcasting Program. Each telecast provides network-level television experience for 17 to 20 students.”
Tonight’s doubleheader will mark the Hilltoppers debut on the air this season, as WKU faces Evansville at 8 p.m. (CST) after the Lady Toppers take on Arkansas at 5 p.m. The Toppers contest at 7 p.m. Saturday against Pacific — an NCAA Tournament participant from a year ago — will be the last televised game for either team prior to the holidays.
HSSN and FCS pick up in the New Year beginning with the Hilltoppers’ three-game homestand that begins Jan. 7 against Middle Tennessee. The network will also show games against Arkansas-Little Rock Jan. 12 and Arkansas State two days later. Other men’s games on HSSN and FCS’s schedule include New Orleans (Jan. 28), North Texas (Feb. 11) and Florida International (Feb. 25).
The Lady Toppers game against South Alabama on Jan. 21 will be televised before four additional contests are broadcast the final month of the season. HSSN and FCS will air match-ups with FIU (Feb. 4), UALR (Feb. 16), Arkansas State (Feb. 19) and Middle Tennessee (Feb. 25).
Lady Topper wins over Louisiana Tech and Louisville have already been broadcast.
WKU also announced Tuesday that a pair of basketball legends will handle the analysis on HSSN and FCS’s broadcasts. Three-time All-American Clem Haskins will be part of the broadcasts for the Hilltoppers, while his daughter Clemette — who was also selected an All-American three times during her career on the Hill — will supply analysis for Lady Topper contests.
He is one of six Toppers to have their jersey retired after earning All-America honors from 1965-67 as WKU posted a 66-15 (81.5%) mark while advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of his final two seasons. Haskins scored 22.1 points per game during his career, the second-highest average in school history, and he still ranks in the top 10 in six different statistical categories.
She remains WKU’s all-time leader with 731 assists and 285 steals, and is also ranked in three other categories. Haskins helped lead the Lady Toppers to a 99-31 (76.2%) record during her career, as they advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of her final two season — that included a trip to the 1986 Final Four.
George Plaster, host of The Sports Zone, the top-rated sports talk show in Nashville on 104.5 The Zone, will return for his second season as the play-by-play announcer for Hilltopper basketball. Plaster has served as host of various sports talk shows in Nashville since arriving in the city in 1981. Jeff Younglove will once again call the action for Lady Topper games.
Individuals interested in learning more about the availability of Fox College Sports, visit www.foxcollegesports.com.