On the heels of having their Thanksgiving game versus San Diego State broadcast, the men’s basketball team will return to the local televison scene.
The annual mountain rivalry men’s basketball game between Western Carolina and UNC Asheville, scheduled for New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), will be televised live by WLOS-TV and will air on its sister station, WMYA-TV Channel 40.
Tip-off from the Justice Center on the UNC Asheville campus is set for 4:00 pm.
The WCU-UNCA game on New Year’s Eve will mark the first locally produced college basketball game ever on WMYA, which is owned by Cunningham Broadcasting. Jack Connors and Brian Hall will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties.
Earlier this year, WLOS originated a broadcast of Western Carolina’s Homecoming game against Southern Conference newcomer, Samford, from Cullowhee and E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.
Last month, WLOS carried a feed of the WCU men’s basketball team in the Great Alaska Shootout versus San Diego State on Thanksgiving, drawing a 1.1 rating – or nearly 10,000 households and perhaps over 20,000 viewers – despite an 11:30 pm ET tip-off from Anchorage.
WMYA-TV “My40” is a MyNetwork TV affiliate serving the Western North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina and North Georgia area, the 36th largest television market in the U.S.
At the present time, WMYA is not carried on the local cable subscribers in Jackson County. However, the staff of WLOS-TV is currently working with Mediacom Cable to have them carry this – and any other Western Carolina games – on a special channel in the Sylva/Cullowhee/Jackson County area. WMYA is already available on both satellite television delivery companies, DirecTV (Channel 40 or 905) and Dish Network (Channel 40 or 8184).
Western Carolina leads the all-time series with UNC Asheville, 22-17, with the Bulldogs winning in Cullowhee a year ago, 83-73, snapping a two-game Catamount win streak. The two teams first met on Dec. 10, 1965 in Asheville, when the Bulldogs where known as Asheville-Biltmore, a game Western won 84-69.
Since 2000, only one of the four series match-ups played in Asheville has taken place in the Justice Center – a 61-46 win for Western in 2006-07. The other three – all UNCA wins – took place in the Asheville Civic Center. Having dropped two-straight after a four-game winning streak, Western enters the game at 5-4 on the season, while UNCA has dropped three-straight to enter the game at 4-8 overall.