Civil War Game Date Moved

EUGENE – The University of Oregon has been assured of no fewer than five football games to be televised during the 2009 season according to a joint announcement Friday by the school's athletics department, the Pacific-10 Conference and ESPN Vice President for Programming & Acquisitions Dave Brown.

Highlighting the agreement, which is part of the conference's completed 2009 football schedule released by the Pac-10, will be a national showcase of the 113th Oregon-Oregon State game on Thursday, Dec. 3, which will be televised as part of ESPN's national Thursday night package. Game time for the contest in Eugene will be 6 p.m. (PST).

Additional games that Oregon has received television commitments from through ESPN/ABC include the Sept. 5 season opener at Boise State, either the Sept. 12 or Sept. 19 home games against Purdue or Utah, respectively, the Sept. 26 contest vs. California and the Oct. 31 Autzen Stadium game against USC. The game at Boise State will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2, while the remaining three Saturday contests would be televised on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

The Thursday night Civil War will mark Oregon's first Thursday night home game since the Ducks hosted Arizona to start the 1997 season.

It is expected to result in one of the most watched Oregon-Oregon State games ever as ESPN's Thursday night games have traditionally ranked among the network's highest-ranked time slots reaching in excess of six million viewers nationally.

"This package represents a tremendous opportunity to not only showcase our football program as well as an in-state rivalry that I feel is overlooked on the national scene, but will provide unprecedented national exposure for the University of Oregon," according to the university's Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny. "Throughout the process of putting together this agreement, we took into consideration how this might affect our fans as well as the university's academic calendar. Our men's and women's basketball teams have been playing on Thursday nights on a regular basis for years.

"But the benefits of this agreement extend far beyond just one game for us, both from an exposure standpoint for an out-standing program that Mike Bellotti has built over the last 14 years as well as aiding the financial stability of our entire ath-letics department. When you take into consideration all of the benefits derived from this package for the university and our fans, this became an opportunity of unprecedented proportions.

Kilkenny added that the Ducks could also benefit from more television appearances as the season wore on as ESPN/ABC, along with the Pac-10's secondary rights-holder, Fox Sports, will announce windows for further TV opportunities in May and June that will be filled with specific games after the start of the season.

Oregon's 2009 schedule will include seven home games, including four Autzen Stadium games on consecutive weekends from Sept. 12 through Oct. 3 against Purdue, Utah, California and Washington State.

Bellotti added that one aspect of the Ducks' 2009 schedule that can't be overlooked are the benefits it will provide his players.

"Since we have extended the college football season to include 12 regular-season games, it has deprived players from being with their families over the holidays," Bellotti said. "This is increasingly important for players coming to school from longer distances. This schedule will allow our players to take a break for Thanksgiving, which they haven't been able to take advantage of for the past three years."

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