Every Army home game will be live

Updated: April 20, 2005, 11:16 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Army and ESPN have reached a five-year multimedia agreement, guaranteeing live television coverage of every Black Knights home football game to fans and troops around the world.

Under the agreement announced Wednesday, all games at Michie Stadium and select neutral-site games in which Army is the home team will be available on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic or ESPNU, its new college sports station. ESPNU also will offer coverage of seven additional men's or women's Army athletic events a year.

The games will be available live and free of charge to soldiers and military personnel around the world.

"I can't begin to say what a big boost this is for our program," Army head coach Bobby Ross said. "I know people say that Dallas is America's team, but I think we are. In the past, the only opportunity they've really had to see us play was during the Army-Navy game. This gives them an opportunity to see each and every one of our home games. And let me say this, they are very interested."

The contract includes at least one Army football game on ESPN or ESPN2 each year, with additional telecasts split between ESPNU and ESPN Classic. Every game will be available on ESPN360, while some will be offered on ESPN's subscription service, College GamePlan.

In addition, if Army becomes bowl-eligible, the Black Knights, who are leaving Conference USA to play again as an independent, would gain special consideration for an at-large berth to appear in one of the bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television.

In order to maximize exposure, Army will play at least one game a year on Thursday or Friday, and potentially two contests in Saturday prime-time.

For 2005, ESPN2 will televise Army's home game against Iowa State on Friday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press