July 13, 2012;Alexandria, VA USA;University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari (right) watches the game between USA West and USA Midwest during the Nike Global Challenge at Episcopal High School. Image Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Kentucky Wildcats basketball to be on ESPN All-Access

As if the ESPN recruiting special was not enough for the recruiting spotlight for Kentucky basketball, the Wildcats will be featured on ESPN this month in an all-access special


ESPN made the announcement today.

All-Access Kentucky will start with 3 airings on ESPN. The first three are scheduled for October 17, 24 and 31 at 7 PM Eastern. The series is being described as being able to “provide a never-before-seen perspective of the Wildcats preparation for the basketball season.” According to ESPN:

The episodes will chronicle teaching six new players the Kentucky system and trying to mold high school superstars into instant national champions, all while recruiting the class of 2013. The cinéma vérité series will showcase what life can be like on a top-level collegiate basketball team, providing a unique window into the first step in building a national champion.

ESPN knows just how rabid the Kentucky fan base is. Only John Calipari could get a Kentucky practice televised during the week on ESPNU and draw larger ratings than the college basketball games on the network. Fans saw it yesterday on ESPNU. Knowing that the announcement would be closer to 5:30 PM, the program showed some attention on the recent Kentucky commitments in football. If one is going to hold Kentucky fans hostage, they had the foresight to show something related to Kentucky, even if it was in football.

ESPN executives commented on what All Access Kentucky means.

“Our mission at ESPN is always to serve sports fans and with many new players on the Wildcats this year, there is enormous interest surrounding this team,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and acquisitions. “All-Access Kentucky gives us an opportunity to deliver something entertaining and unique that helps bring fans closer to a sport they love.”[...]

“College basketball fans are among the most passionate and dedicated sports fans in the country and they have a strong desire to connect with their team and feel a part of the action,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN’s vice president of original programming and production. “All-Access Kentucky will bring people behind the scenes of this storied program to capture both the joys and the challenges of creating and leading an elite college basketball team.”

Segments from the series will air across the ESPN family.

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