Multimedia RightsMultimedia Rights

WLEX Named Official TV Partner of UK Athletics, UK Sports Network

January 27, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. – As the University of Kentucky prepares to return to athletics competition for the 2020-21 season, UK Athletics is launching a partnership with WLEX, which will serve as the official television partner of UK Athletics and the Lexington home of the UK Sports Network. This agreement will make UK Sports Network television programming available on WLEX and other participating UK Sports Network affiliates six days per week, giving the University of Kentucky a local television presence among the best in all of college sports.

“We are pleased to have a television partner in WLEX that shares our commitment to student-athletes and sharing their stories with the Big Blue Nation,” University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are grateful for the amount of coverage this partnership will deliver and for the ways that the UK Sports Network continues to innovate in its media offerings.”

BBN Tonight, airing Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on WLEX, will give viewers a daily 30-minute insider’s look into the UK Athletics program and provide discussion and analysis of current topics by UK Sports Network talent. University of Kentucky coaches and student-athletes will join the show nightly to give their insider perspective on the biggest stories in the world of UK Athletics.

BBN Gameday, similar to its predecessor BBN TV, will air on Saturday mornings across local UK Sports Network affiliates and Fox Sports South, giving Big Blue Nation a chance to get ready for the biggest games of the weekend with exclusive access and expert analysis of upcoming matchups. BBN Gameday will also air digitally on UKathletics.comYouTube and the Kentucky Wildcats Facebook page every Saturday at 9 a.m. ET.

As the official television partner of UK Athletics, WLEX will produce BBN Tonight, BBN Gameday and all UK Sports Network special presentations with TJ Beisner, director of content development and digital media for JMI Sports – the multimedia rights holder for the University of Kentucky – serving as executive producer.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to be working together with the University of Kentucky as their official television partner in the Lexington market,” WLEX Vice President & General Manager Andrew Shenkan said. “This has been a long time coming for LEX 18, so our team is anxious to get started on delivering in-depth, engaging and authentic coverage of UK athletics on a Monday through Saturday basis. Our ultimate goal will be to provide Big Blue Nation the highest quality of sports programming here in Kentucky for many years to come.”

WLEX is Lexington’s NBC affiliate and serves communities in 40 counties across central, eastern and southern Kentucky. From the moment it signed on as Lexington’s first television station, WLEX has built a long and proud tradition of covering UK sports. WLEX is now owned and operated by Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Company, the nation’s fourth-largest independent TV station owner, which operates 60 stations in 42 markets across the country. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Fans can get their exclusive look into the new partnership and new content with the premiere of BBN Gameday on Aug. 29, which will feature conversations with John Calipari and Mark Stoops.


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