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ESPN to expand its live coverage from the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships



INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA and ESPN announced today expanded live television coverage of the 2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships March 15-17 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

For the first time, in the 77-year history of the Division I Wrestling Championships, the Saturday morning medal round will be televised. Scheduled for 10 a.m. EST March 17 on ESPNU, the championships medal round determines the 3rd through 8th place finishers who are honored as All-Americans.

"This is a great moment for wrestling fans that will now have the opportunity to see the championship medal round on ESPNU, plus extensive coverage of the Division I Wrestling Championships across our networks," said Burke Magnus, vice president and general manager, ESPNU. "The advent of ESPNU has created opportunity for increased coverage of college sports at every level and further demonstrates our commitment to the NCAA and its membership."

ESPN's coverage of the Division I Wrestling Championships has vastly expanded over the last five years. In 2001, only the finals aired on ESPN2 tape delay. In 2003, the championships saw its first ever live coverage in Kansas City, Missouri during the semifinals, while in 2004 the package increased with both the semifinals and finals aired live on ESPN2 and in syndication from St. Louis, Missouri. Three years later, the 2007 championships will now have four of the six sessions on live television with the finals in a primetime time slot on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 17. Session three will air at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 16 on ESPNU and session four following at 7 p.m. on ESPNU and in syndication.

"I can't begin to express how much NCAA Wrestling's partnership with ESPN has meant to our sport," said Colonel William Walker, chair of the Division I Wrestling Committee, Deputy Director of Athletics/Department Head of Physical Education at the United States Air Force Academy.

"It has given us a chance to showcase some of the hardest-working student-athletes in the country during one of the most exciting events in collegiate athletics. The expanded ESPN coverage only adds to that tremendous exposure. We're truly grateful to ESPN for their cooperation in making the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships a prime-time event."

The 2007 championships will be held March 15-17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan (Detroit suburb). The University of Michigan and the Detroit Metro Sports Commission will serve as hosts.

Tickets for the 2007 championships are available by visiting http://www.detroitsports.org/wrestling/tickets/index.html

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