ONN is the new TV home of the Crew
Columbus Crew General Manager Mark McCullers and WBNS 10TV and Ohio News Network Vice President and General Manager Tom Griesdorn announced today that The Crew and the Ohio News Network (ONN) have finalized a multi-year broadcast agreement.
The broadcast agreement is the lynchpin of a larger integrated partnership that positions the Dispatch Printing Company and its affiliated properties as a cornerstone partner with The Crew. As such, The Dispatch Printing Company will enjoy a significant presence within Crew Stadium, hospitality, promotional rights, media rights and a community outreach platform with The Crew. The Crew benefits by having an established television broadcast home for three years with a statewide footprint and reciprocal promotional and advertising assets. The Ohio News Network will televise 11 Crew road games in 2005.
"ONN has continually increased it sports programming over the past few years and has evolved into a sports programming destination for many fans," said McCullers. "Crew fans will enjoy an established home for the next three years. The Dispatch Printing Company relationship is significant; this will link The Crew with the strongest promotional partner in central Ohio and substantially increase our ability to create awareness for our game broadcast and our brand."
Community Outreach programs that have been targeted include: the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association, The Crew Foundation and its Kicks for Kids program, the 10TV Commit To Be Fit program, and a Youth Soccer Spotlight in This Week Newspapers and TheCrew.com.
The Dispatch Printing Company will have multiple signage locations in Crew Stadium, while The Crew will partner with certain The Dispatch Printing Company media properties to develop promotions and cross marketing programs.
"The Ohio News Network's commitment to local sports has been a core value since the day we began," said Griesdorn. "Anyone who's been to a Crew game knows the energy, excitement, and enjoyment the fans experience. This is a great fit with our other local sports franchises and we're very pleased to be Ohio's new television home for The Crew."
An additional four Crew games will be televised nationally on ESPN2, including three home games and one road game. Additionally, three of the remaining four road games for Columbus will be available on the MLS Direct Kick package, allowing Crew fans to see 15 out of 16 Crew road games this season. Games will also be shown on HDNet, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports Espanol. A total of 29 of The Crew's 32 games will be available on television. The 2005 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star is also being played in Columbus and will be televised nationally on ABC Sports. The current Crew and national television schedule listing is below.
Dwight Burgess, "The Voice of The Crew," will again handle the play-by-play duties while Bill McDermott will return as the color analyst.
The Crew will kick off year No. 10 of Major League Soccer on April 2 at Columbus Crew Stadium, when the Black & Gold welcome the Los Angeles Galaxy to town for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.
Crew single-game tickets are available at the Crew Stadium Box Office, at any area Ticket Master outlet, via phone at 614-431-3600 or on-line at TheCrew.com. Call 614-447-CREW for season tickets.
The Ohio News Network is Ohio's own 24-hour cable news, weather and sports channel. ONN is a member of the Dispatch Broadcast Group, which includes WBNS-TV, WBNS-AM/FM, Ohio News Network and Radio Sound Network in Columbus, Ohio; WTHR-TV and SkyTrak Weather Network in Indianapolis, Indiana. For a complete ONN channel listing, please visit the website at www.OhioNewsNow.com. In Columbus, ONN is available on all Wide Open West and Insight cable systems, while Time Warner customers should upgrade to digital to get ONN.