Three University of Maine football games and seven men’s hockey games will again be televised this coming year by WVII/WFVX in Bangor, WPME in Portland and WVII in Presque Isle.
All 10 games are conference contests.
This will mark the seventh year that the Bangor ABC and Fox affiliates, the University of Maine athletic department and the institution’s multimedia rights partner, Black Bear Sports Properties, have collaborated in this partnership.
Black Bear Sports Properties falls under the nationwide Learfield IMG College umbrella.
The UMaine football team is coming off a record-setting 2018 season in which it reached the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals for the first time in program history.
The Black Bears went 10-4 and return 15 of 22 starters on the offensive and defensive units.
One of the three football games to be aired will be against William and Mary (Virginia), the only Colonial Athletic Association team to beat the Black Bears last season. UMaine went 7-1 in conference play.
The William and Mary game will be at 1 p.m. Oct. 26.
The other televised football games will be Oct. 12 against Richmond and Nov. 16 against Rhode Island. UMaine won a wild 38-36 game at URI last fall on Kenny Doak’s last-second field goal, and the Black Bears also beat Richmond 28-9.
The hockey team’s slate of TV games against Hockey East opponents includes matchups against Northeastern on Feb. 7 and Providence on March 6.
Northeastern won the Hockey East championship before losing to Cornell 5-1 in the first round of the NCAA tourney.
Providence reached the NCAA Division I Frozen Four before falling to eventual two-time national champ the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Six of the hockey games will start at 7:30 p.m., but a Feb. 22 matchup against Vermont will begin at 5 p.m.
The first two hockey TV games will be against traditional rivals Boston University on Nov. 1 and New Hampshire on Nov. 15. The Black Bears will host Merrimack on Jan. 31 followed by the games against Northeastern, the University of Connecticut (Feb. 15), Vermont and Providence.
UMaine will return five of its top eight scorers from last year’s 15-17-4 team (11-9-4 in Hockey East) along with two-year starting goalie Jeremy Swayman. The Black Bears will have to replace five defensemen who all played in at least 33 games.
“It’s a great schedule for our fans and our sponsors,” said Justin Barnes, general manager of Black Bear Sports Properties. “We want to connect with as many fans as possible by giving the teams state-wide exposure.”
WVII/WFVX general manager Mike Palmer and Barnes said football’s memorable 2018 season has been a plus.
“The demand [for football] has been stronger this year,” Palmer said.
Barnes said contracts are being finalized with the personnel who will handle on-air broadcasting duties this season.