NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Return to ESPN: Complete Television Coverage and ‘Every Mat, Every Match’ Digital Offering on the ESPN App

College Sports (Miscellaneous)

NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Return to ESPN: Complete Television Coverage and ‘Every Mat, Every Match’ Digital Offering on the ESPN App

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships return to ESPN networks, with live coverage of the annual event from start to finish. Action from Enterprise Center in St. Louis begins Thursday, March 18, with the first round on ESPNU, and continues with early sessions on ESPNU, three primetime sessions on ESPN and ESPN2, with the championship on ESPN. Additionally, every mat will be available for individual viewing on ESPN3 via the ESPN App. ESPN has aired the NCAA wrestling championships since 1980, the first year as a network.

ESPN Airs Second Round and Semifinals in Prime Time; ESPNU Presents First Round and Quarterfinals
Primetime coverage begins with the second round on Thursday, March 18, and continues with the semifinals on March 19, at 8 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, ESPNU will also air the first round and quarterfinals at 11 a.m.

Championship Saturday Night
ESPN’s Championship Saturday night coverage will conclude the three-day event, with the network airing each national championship match beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Earlier in the day, ESPN2 and ESPN3 will begin the final day of competition with coverage of the Medal Round at 11 a.m.

Coverage highlights

  • One Screen, Multiple Mats: TV coverage will often show multiple mats at one time, with a scroll of both individual results and team standings continuously updating in real time
  • Robotic cameras will be stationed around the arena for the first time, including two on towers in the center to allow for a 360-degree view of all adjacent mats – providing a new and unique view
  • ESPN3 will offer individual feeds of each mat for all sessions, including all eight mats for the first round, second round, quarterfinals and semifinals, and all four mats in the medal round
  • Join the Conversation: Fans can follow the action on Twitter through @NCAAWrestling and join the conversation by tagging their tweets #NCAAWrestling

Recognizable Voices in the Sports Complement ESPN Coverage

  • Tim Johnson: The “voice of college wrestling” returns once again to ESPN’s coverage, having been a part of it for more than a decade. Johnson was named the 2007 broadcaster of the year by the National Wrestling Media Association. His broadcasting and leadership roles in the sport of wrestling span more than 30 years, including being the director of wrestling for the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as the recipient of the prestigious Order of Merit award honoring a lifetime of contributions to the sport of wrestling.
  • Jim Gibbons: A former NCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year, he won an NCAA National Championship as the Cyclones head coach following a collegiate wrestling career where he was a three-time All-American and two-time Big Eight winner at Iowa State. He was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.

For the fourth year, Mike Couzens will call the action at the wrestling championships, handling all the prime-time sessions.  Shawn Kenney returns to the coverage and will handle the play-by-play for the first Round, quarterfinals and medal round. Quint Kessenich will be the reporter on all telecasts.

For more information on the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships:


Date Time (ET) Session Networks Number of ESPN3/ESPN App Mat Feeds
Thu, Mar 18 11 a.m. First Round ESPNU 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  2 p.m. First Round ESPNU 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  6 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  9 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
Fri, Mar 19 11 a.m. Quarterfinals ESPNU 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  3 p.m. Semifinals ESPNU 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  8 p.m. Semifinals ESPN 8 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
Sat, Mar 20 11 a.m. Medal Round ESPN2 4 mat feeds, 1 “multi-view” feed
  7 p.m. Championship ESPN


Anna Negron

It was always a dream of mine to work at ESPN, and here I am! I joined the College Sports PR team in March 2016. Hailing from the great Garden State, I graduated from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) with a degree in sport management, where I not only sang the National Anthem at games, but was also a member of the Seton Hall Sapphires Dance Team and a student reporter for Pirate Sports Network. Before joining ESPN, I served as a Public Relations Associate for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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