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U Sports Network to go heavy on preps

The news probably won’t send ESPN scrambling to media consultants to keep from losing viewers, but it is something that could change the sports TV game in Albuquerque.

Tonight, the U Sports Network (USN) – Comcast Channel 26 – has its first live broadcast, when it televises the West Mesa vs. Highland football game at 7 from Community Stadium.

“We think there is a market for it, and we’re going after it,” said Steve Davis, president/owner of ProView Networks, which will supply about 80 percent of the content to the 24-hour local sports network. Until this year, ProView was able to stream games only via the Internet.

“We have high expectations, and the city (of Albuquerque) is giving us the channels to do it with,” Davis said.

Davis said USN is available only on Comcast, but he is in discussions with DirecTV and Dish and hopes to get it added within two years.

USN won’t just show games – tonight’s West Mesa-Highland contest is the first of about 250 this school year, according to Davis – but also has a sports news show, “U Sports Central.” It is scheduled to air from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with fresh content each day. The show will be rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In addition, there will be three weekly shows:

  • “The Steve Davis Show,” which is an in-depth interview show with a local sports figure.
  • “The Sports Desk,” a one-hour show with Scott Galetti breaking down key highlights from games.
  • “Red Menace TV,” a one-hour, highlight-and opinion-driven show with Lee Roy Lucero. It has been on the Internet for three years and will probably run Wednesdays.

“We bring the fans’ perspective, and we get people fired up about events,” Lucero said. “The beauty of our show and our new network is we have more of a community aspect.”

Davis said times and days are still being determined for all three shows.

In addition, Davis said, the station will carry shows not produced by ProView, such as one with MMA content, University of New Mexico coaches shows “and probably something with the New Mexico Stars, hockey and the Albuquerque Sol.”

He said they will air Lobo Olympic sporting events, in addition to high school games. He said they have five play-by-play and camera crews, so they can tape five games at a time. He said if a game is not shown live, it will be rebroadcast multiple times during the week.

“U Sports Central” is co-anchored by Adam Diehl and Charles Ashley, with Kristy Waite reporting on daily news.

“We’ll be very highlight-oriented, from high school to college sports,” said Diehl, a 2004 Rio Rancho High and 2009 Eastern New Mexico graduate. “It will be very opinionated. We have a section called ‘Three-and-Out,’ in which we have a debate on a local or a national sports topic.”

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