ECU, WNCT announce television partnership

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, July 23, 2014



ECU Athletic Media Relations

GREENVILLE — The East Carolina University Department of Athletics, in conjunction with its multimedia rights partner IMG College, have agreed to terms with WNCT-TV on a three-year contract, which will re-establish a broadcast relationship dating back to 1989 and enable the region’s CBS affiliate to regain its standing as the “Official Station of the Pirates.”

In addition to being the primary carrier of the Ruffin McNeill and Jeff Lebo Shows during the fall and winter months, WNCT’s 9 On Your Side team will deliver comprehensive exposure that includes in-depth features on ECU’s student-athletes from all sports throughout the year.

Veteran sports director Brian Bailey, who has covered the Pirates for over three decades with an emphasis on community involvement, will also work in collaboration with ECU on various outreach opportunities.

“We are very excited to work with Brian Bailey and the great team at WNCT as the home of the Pirates,” General Manager for Pirate IMG Sports Marketing Meghan Heinchon said. “They have made a tremendous commitment to IMG and ECU and we look forward to our expanded coverage with two stations in the market. ECU and WNCT have maintained a long symbiotic relationship and this agreement will certainly be an added benefit for all Pirate fans and Channel 9 viewers into the future.”

The partnership agreement will allow WNCT-TV to have primary hosting rights to a series of weekly Pirate-related programs which begin with the Ruffin McNeill Show each Sunday at 11:30 a.m., starting on August 24. The weekly episodes will also air on WNCT’s sister station The CW.

“The WNCT family is absolutely thrilled to return to the great partnership we’ve shared in the past with ECU,” WNCT Vice-Present and General Manager Vickie Jones said. “We look forward to working together to grow the Pirate Nation. GO PIRATES!!”

The agreement marks the second time the Pirates will work with Channel 9 in an official sharing capacity. WNCT-TV served as ECU’s exclusive television partner from 1989 to 1998, a nine-year span that included some of the school’s most memorable moments such as a Peach Bowl victory, a No. 9 final rank and Liberty Bowl win for the football program and a NCAA Tournament appearance for the men’s basketball team.