Taking a page from its college-football ancillary-programming playbook, ESPN will originate on-campus preview college-basketball shows in the New Year.
College GameDay -- which has long been an on-site staple setting up ESPN’s college-football schedule -- will tip off in a hoops mode over an eight-week period, starting Jan. 22 from Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., where the University of Connecticut will meet the University of Pittsburgh that night.
ESPN executives said the basketball edition of GameDay will air three times on Saturdays: 11 a.m.-noon, when it will be followed by a quartet of contests; as an 8 p.m.-9 p.m. lead-in to ESPN’s new Saturday Primetime game of the week; and as a wrap-up to the day’s action from midnight-1 a.m., after SportsCenter.
College GameDay hosting duties will be shared by Rece Davis (first four weeks) and Chris Fowler (last four weeks), who already leads the football version of College GameDay. Jay Bilas and Rick Majerus will serve as analysts and Andy Katz as a reporter.
Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler will team up on the Saturday Primetime telecast, with an assist from reporter Erin Andrews.