May 22, 2006
(From the USTFCCCA) - The 2006 NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships will feature 4½ hours of live television coverage following this week's announcement that College Sports Television (CSTV) plans to air two hours of Friday's competition.
CBS earlier announced that it would air 2½ hours of live coverage (3:30 to 6 p.m. Eastern time) on Saturday, June 10, the final day of the four-day collegiate championships.
This is the first time since 1982 that the NCAA Track & Field Championships have been televised live on network television. The 4½ hours of live coverage mark the most live coverage in the 86-year history of the NCAA Division I Track & Field. This marks the second time that the women's portion of the meet will be televised live.
CSTV will broadcast two hours of competition (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern) on Friday, June 9. Never before has the next-to-last day of the NCAA Championships been televised live.
"This is a major boost to collegiate track and field's visibility," said Sam Seemes, CEO of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. "To have live television coverage of the final two of days of competition allows fans around the country to watch one of the greatest track events in the world.
"It's exciting to have CBS go above and beyond to make this a great experience for everyone," Seemes said. "They've stepped up with a great slot and have brought their cable entity, CSTV, on board as well."
The 2006 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held June 7-10 at the A.G. Spanos Sports Complex on the Sacramento State campus. Arkansas (men) and Texas (women) are the defending team champions.
"We are very pleased about the additional live coverage, as it provides additional exposure for track & field and our student-athletes," said DeTrease Harrison, chair of the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track & Field committee and assistant athletic director at Virginia Commonwealth.
"CBS has been a long-time part of the NCAA Track & Field Championships, and the live coverage is just another example of its commitment," Harrison said. "The addition of the CSTV coverage is just a continuation of that commitment."
The field for this year's event should be one of the strongest in history, likely featuring such standouts as UCLA pole vaulter Chelsea Johnson, LSU sprinter Xavier Carter, Texas sprinter/jumper Marshevet Hooker, Texas decathlete Trey Hardee, Arizona distance ace Robert Cheseret and USC hurdler Virginia Powell.
Over the years, the NCAA meet has featured such all-time greats as Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Suzy Favor, and UCLA standouts Jackie-Joyner Kersee and Gail Devers.
This year's competition marks the 25th year that women have competed in the NCAA Championships.