ESPN will launch its college basketball high-definition highlights and cut-in service on Saturday.
ESPN Buzzer Beater is scheduled to bow on Jan. 8 on video platforms proffered by Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS. Those were the same three distributors that aired the sports programmer's equivalent ad hoc network during the 2010 college football, ESPN Goal Line.
ESPN Buzzer Beater will feature live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games during each Wednesday and Saturday for the remainder of the college basketball season, plus up-to-the-minute commentary from ESPN on-air talent, including hosts Anish Shroff, Cindy Brunson and Steve Bunin and analyst Tim McCormick.
Games featured on Buzzer Beater will include those airing on ESPN's family of networks, as well as syndicated and locally produced contests from other conferences, capturing the best live action of the day.
In addition to its appearance on Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. (ET), beginning on Jan. 8 and extending through March 5 and on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., tipping Jan. 12 through March 2, ESPN Buzzer Beater will air on Thursday and Friday March 10 and 11 from noon to 11 p.m. Those days are awash in conference tournament action, which, in many cases, decides the participants for "March Madness."
The network will be available at launch on Time Warner Cable's Sports Tier, and to Bright House subscribers and FiOS TV Ultimate HD and Extreme HD customers.
Time Warner Cable and Bright House kicked off ESPN Goal Line on Sept. 4, just a couple of days after the former reached a comprehensive carriage pact with the sports programmer. (TWC represents Bright House in programming deals.) FiOS made Goal Line available on Oct. 9, two days after it announced an advanced media deal with Disney Media.
Speaking of advanced media, officials said that later in the college hoops campaign, Buzzer Beater will be accessible online through ESPN's authenticated services, which are available to a number of the three distributors' customers.