New partnership will create authentic UK Athletics television content six days a week
LEXINGTON – August 27, 2020
As the University of Kentucky prepares to return to athletics competition for the 2020-21 season, UK Athletics is launching a partnership with WLEX, which will serve as the official television partner of UK Athletics and the Lexington home of the UK Sports Network. This agreement will make UK Sports Network television programming available on WLEX and other participating UK Sports Network affiliates six days per week, giving the University of Kentucky a local television presence among the best in all of college sports.
“We are pleased to have a television partner in WLEX that shares our commitment to student-athletes and sharing their stories with the Big Blue Nation,” University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are grateful for the amount of coverage this partnership will deliver and for the ways that the UK Sports Network continues to innovate in its media offerings.”
BBN Tonight, airing Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on WLEX, will give viewers a daily 30-minute insider’s look into the UK Athletics program and provide discussion and analysis of current topics by UK Sports Network talent. University of Kentucky coaches and student-athletes will join the show nightly to give their insider perspective on the biggest stories in the world of UK Athletics.
BBN Gameday, similar to its predecessor BBN TV, will air on Saturday mornings across local UK Sports Network affiliates and Fox Sports South, giving Big Blue Nation a chance to get ready for the biggest games of the weekend with exclusive access and expert analysis of upcoming matchups. BBN Gameday will also air digitally on UKathletics.com, YouTube and the Kentucky Wildcats Facebook page every Saturday at 9 a.m. ET.
As the official television partner of UK Athletics, WLEX will produce BBN Tonight, BBN Gameday and all UK Sports Network special presentations with TJ Beisner, director of content development and digital media for JMI Sports – the multimedia rights holder for the University of Kentucky – serving as executive producer.
“We are extremely pleased and excited to be working together with the University of Kentucky as their official television partner in the Lexington market,” WLEX Vice President & General Manager Andrew Shenkan said. “This has been a long time coming for LEX 18, so our team is anxious to get started on delivering in-depth, engaging and authentic coverage of UK athletics on a Monday through Saturday basis. Our ultimate goal will be to provide Big Blue Nation the highest quality of sports programming here in Kentucky for many years to come.”
WLEX is Lexington’s NBC affiliate and serves communities in 40 counties across central, eastern and southern Kentucky. From the moment it signed on as Lexington’s first television station, WLEX has built a long and proud tradition of covering UK sports. WLEX is now owned and operated by Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company, the nation’s fourth-largest independent TV station owner, which operates 60 stations in 42 markets across the country. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”
Fans can get their exclusive look into the new partnership and new content with the premiere of BBN Gameday on Aug. 29, which will feature conversations with John Calipari and Mark Stoops.
About JMI Sports
JMI Sports is a full-service collegiate marketing firm providing the highest quality management of athletics multimedia rights, working hand-in-hand with each partner in the pursuit of their success. The company serves to maximize each clients’ economic potential through customized marketing and branding initiatives. JMI Sports manages an impressive list of signature partnerships including the University of Kentucky, Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, Clemson University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, Harvard University, and joint-venture properties of the University of Georgia and Columbia University (with Learfield IMG College), and University of Notre Dame (with Legends). JMI Sports also represents several high-profile conferences including the Ivy League, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Southern Conference and the Patriot League. Additionally, JMI Sports holds Total Campus Marketing rights in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Clemson University. Founded in 2006 by Erik Judson and technology entrepreneur John Moores, former owner of the San Diego Padres, JMI Sports is also a highly regarded project manager for the development of collegiate and professional sports facilities