UMaine negotiates deal with Portland TV station to air football, men’s hockey games

Posted Aug. 01, 2014, at 2:18 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 01, 2014, at 4:58 p.m.
University of Maine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech
Courtesy of the University of Maine
University of Maine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech

ORONO, Maine — University of Maine fans in the southern part of the state will be able to watch their Black Bears on TV, thanks to a new deal consummated between the university and Portland station WPME, Channel 35.

The university and its multimedia partner, Learfield Sports, announced Friday that the Portland station will join the Black Bear Television Network for two years, starting with the 2014-15 season.

WMPE, along with Bangor stations WVII-ABC 7 and WFVX-FOX 22, will carry three football games, seven men’s ice hockey games and a total of 14 Black Bear Insider shows during the upcoming year, according to a UMaine press release.

The televised football games from Morse Field at Alfond Stadium in Bangor will include the Oct. 4 game against Villanova, the Oct. 18 clash with Albany and the Nov. 8 game against Richmond. All three games are set for 12:30 p.m. kickoffs.

The hockey broadcasts will be announced at a later date.

“We’re excited to unveil our TV football games and be able to tout our two-year affiliate agreement with WPME, completing our goal of securing statewide coverage for Black Bear fans,” UMaine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech said in the statement. “Every day we strive to boost the UMaine brand, identifying ways to extend our reach to showcase the tremendous dedication and hard work of our student-athletes and coaches – and adding a broadcast partner in Portland gives us another opportunity to do just that.”

Learfield Sports’ local entity, Black Bear Sports Properties, oversees all aspects of UMaine’s relationships with television and radio networks, along with managing UMaine’s athletic rights.

“This is a huge victory for us and the University of Maine to enter into a solid partnership with WPME, which will cross-promote Black Bear sports on sister station WPXT-TV (The CW). We believe fans in the Portland area will be extremely happy,” said Black Bear Sports Properties General Manager Andrew Stuebner.

The deal runs through the 2015-2016 school year, according to the release.

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