USC Vs. LSU Set For National Broadcast
A look at the USC television coverage thus far:
August 30 Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPN GamePlan)
September 6 Virginia (JP Sports)
September 13 at Georgia* (CBS National)
September 20 Alabama-Birmingham (CSS)
September 27 at Tennessee* (ESPN National)
October 9 Kentucky* (Thursday ESPN National)
October 18 LSU* (ESPN/ESPN2 National)
South Carolina, with their 4-2 record and legendary head coach Lou Holtz, will remain a viable and attractive option for the TV executives as long as they continue to win with regularity ... and as long as they remain competitive and exciting. The Gamecocks' young stars such as Troy Williamson, Demetris Summers, Dacus Turman, Cory Boyd and Syvelle Newton, along with the marketability of the venerable Lou Holtz, provide an intriguing and camera friendly product for the network executives. Packed stands, along with the hoopla, charm and regalia that Gamecock fans themselves bring to the table, only serve to make a South Carolina match-up verses just about anyone in the SEC an irresistible offering to network programmers and thus potential viewers and advertisers.
The LSU game and its outcome could determine the future broadcast schedule for the Gamecocks, especially when rights are claimed for the Ole Miss and Florida games. A win would all but assure at least three more nationaly televised broadcasts this season, (the Arkansas and Clemson games are already scheduled for national broadcasts), ... and that would set a national broadcast record for the Gamecocks who are already on track to have more televised games, both regionally and nationally, in a season than any other prior to this 2003 campaign.
Remaining Games On The USC Schedule With Broadcast Plans Or Potential:
October 25 Vanderbilt* (HC)
November 1 at Ole Miss* (JP Sports or ESPN/ESPN2)
November 6 at Arkansas* (Thursday ESPN)
November 15 Florida* (CBS Sports or ESPN/ESPN2)
November 22 Clemson (ESPN)
"The two ESPN Thursday night games for the Gamecocks this season are like a pair of three hour commercials for the Gamecocks and Lou Holtz," Jamie Newberg of Countdown to Signing Day told Russ Perry on his Gamecock Nation Show prior to the Kentucky game. "The Thursday night games are a chance to showcase your program to the entire country and high school prospects alike, with no competition ... the MLB NLCS during the Kentucky game being the rare exception."
The Gamecocks will take them all - any and all televised games, especially those sent to the entire country. The increased television coverage, in addition to being utilized as a recruiting tool, has also served notice to neutral observers that the Gamecocks are young and talented and will be loaded for bear for the 2004 season. Any natonally televised broadcasts, be they Thursday night games on ESPN or Saturday transmissions mixed in with other games of national interest, are a coup for the public relations of a program in the eyes of the national media and recruits alike - not to mention the general fanbases. And more importantly to some, they also add to the revenue coffers of an already well-endowed and rapidly growing wealthy USC Athletics Department.
The 2003 Gamecock football season will go down as the most widely covered by the national media in the history of the South Carolina Gamecocks' football program ... especially in terms of television which translates into increased Radio, Internet and Print Media coverage as well.