NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships: Every Session Televised, Every Match Covered

College Sports (Miscellaneous)

NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships: Every Session Televised, Every Match Covered

Semifinals and Finals in Prime Time on ESPN; Multi-Mat Viewing on ESPN3

ESPN’s 30-second NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Promotion:

ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis from March 19-21. For the second consecutive year, all six sessions will be televised and every match carried on ESPN3 throughout the entire three-day competition.

ESPN will televise the semifinals (March 20) and finals (March 21) in prime time and ESPNU will televise the first, second (March 19) and quarterfinals (March 20), in addition to the medal round (March 21). ESPN3 will carry individual mat feeds throughout the entire tournament including the return of Off the Mat during the Championships finals. Additionally, for computer users, ESPN3 will once again offer multi-mat, simultaneous viewing which allows fans to watch up to four different mats at one time.

Both the television and ESPN3 content will be available on WatchESPN.

ESPN Commentators:

  • Anthony Robles: Now in his fourth year as an ESPN analyst, the Arizona State graduate is a three-time All-American and a 2011 NCAA National Champion.
  • Jim Gibbons: Returning to ESPN’s television coverage, Gibbons is a former NCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year, three-time All-American, two-time Big Eight winner at Iowa State and later won an NCAA National Championship as the Cyclones head coach. He was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • Tim Johnson: “The voice of college wrestling” returns once again to ESPN’s coverage. Johnson has been evaluating the college wrestling scene for more than 25 years and has called more than 250 matches as an analyst.
  • Adam Amin and Shawn Kenney will call the action and Quint Kessenich will be the reporter. Actor Billy Baldwin, who was a standout wrestler at Binghamton University, will also join the coverage again, playing an expanded role this year.

Off the Mat – ESPN3 Special During Championship Finals:

ESPN3’s Off the Mat during the Championship Finals (March 21 at 8 p.m.) will feature three of college wrestling’s most decorated athletes – Jim Gibbons, Dan Gable, and Lee Kemp. The trio will provide viewers a unique perspective of the sport’s ultimate finale, along with Kenney who will host.

While also bringing viewers live action, the analysts — unrestricted by television parameters — will discuss each match from a tactical and mental standpoint, describing the wrestlers’ thought process before, during, and after a finals match. Off the Mat will go behind-the-scenes, show medal ceremonies and feature an array of guests throughout the night, including newly crowned NCAA National Champions and their coaches.

Off the Mat Analysts:

Joining Jim Gibbons are:

  • Dan Gable: Won an Olympic gold medal at the 1972 games in Munich, Germany, before leading Iowa to 16 NCAA National Championships as head coach.
  • Lee Kemp: Won three NCAA National Championships as a wrestler at Wisconsin and three gold medals in the World Championships. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990.

 Every Match, Every Mat Coverage on ESPN3:

  • Bottom scroll will also run through current team standings and update in real time. Additionally, the use of full screen team panels will be utilized to keep fans up to date



  • ESPN3’s scoreboard/navigation page which will keep viewers up-to-date on current action and which mats each wrestler is on. When applicable, updates on up to eight mats will be provided on this page


  • For viewers watching a particular mat feed, ESPN3’s new scroll provides score updates on other ongoing matches, including the matchups coming up next

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  • ESPN3 will have a reporter stationed at each mat providing commentary for each specific feed to further enhance the digital experience.

Additional Elements

  • ESPN will utilize still photography throughout the telecasts, capturing the event in a unique way. Once the event begins, photos can be seen here. Please credit ESPN Images
  • Fans can follow the action on Twitter through @NCAAWrestling and join the conversation by tagging their tweets #D1Wrestle

 Millions of Viewers for 2014 Wrestling Championship

ESPN’s enhanced 2014 Wrestling Championships television coverage reached 8.6 million people, a 39% increase over 2013. Additionally, 12.8 million minutes were consumed on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, also an increase over the 2013 Championship.

“Wrestling fans have an increased fervor around the Championships each year,” said Brent Colborne, ESPN director of programming and acquisitions. “The strategy we implemented last year – the addition of the first two sessions on television, combined with our ‘every mat, every match’ component – was very well received and we are thrilled to continue with the same coverage plan.”

2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Television Schedule

Date Time (ET) Session Network
Thu, March 19 Noon – 3:30 p.m. First Round ESPNU
7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Second Round ESPNU
Fri, March 20 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Third Round –   Quarterfinals ESPNU
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Fourth Round – Semifinals ESPN
Sat, March 21 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fifth Session – Medal Round ESPNU
8:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sixth Session – Championship Finals ESPN


2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship ESPN3 Schedule

Date Time (ET) Session Number of Mat Feeds
Thu, March 19 Noon – 3:30 p.m. First Session Eight Mats
7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Second Session Eight Mats
Fri, March 20 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Third Session – Quarterfinals Eight Mats
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Fourth Session – Semifinals Six Mats
Sat, March 21 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fifth Session – Medal Round Three Mats
8:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Off the Mat – Championship Finals One Mat


ESPN NCAA Winter Championship Coverage

In addition to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, ESPN provides exclusive coverage of 10 additional NCAA Winter Championships including Women’s Basketball, Women’s Bowling, Men’s and Women’s Fencing, Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Ice Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving, and Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship throughout March and April.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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