Knoxville, TN: WVLT-TV, Volunteer TV and Knoxville’s CBS affiliate is proud to announce that it has extended its agreement with IMG/Vol Network through the 2019 basketball season. In addition to maintaining the coveted Television Flagship status, WVLT will also receive expanded team coverage through a new partnership with Brent Hubbs and his VolQuest reporting team. The VolQuest staff has covered UT athletics extensively both home and away, traveling across the state of Tennessee for recruiting caravans for the past four years while also venturing to California, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, among other locations. Both Hubbs and John Brice have seen their reporting honored in state, regional and national competitions.
For WVLT, already the sports leader in East Tennessee, the agreement solidifies its position as the top TV affiliate for University of Tennessee sports for the next 5 years. It also means more unique content for its viewing audience. In addition to daily sports features, Hubbs and his team will join Local 8 Sports Director Rick Russo and his team to produce “The Extra Point,” a weekly Sunday show that will air Sundays on MyVLT at 10am and on WVLT at 11:30pm throughout the football season in Knoxville, as well as on various other Vol Network affiliated stations across the state.
“We are very excited about what this extension will mean for our viewers and for the entire Vol Nation,” said Chris Baker, Executive VP and General Manager of WVLT. “We consider our status as the Flagship TV station for the Vol Network to be the crown jewel in our extensive high school, college, and professional sports franchise. With the extension of this contract, and by combining the leadership position that Rick and his team have established in the sports community with the added content, coverage, and expertise that Brent and his team will bring to our viewers, WVLT and MyVLT are positioned to be the one stop shop for UT Sports for years to come”.
“Both the University of Tennessee and the Vol Network have taken a lot of pride in our Flagship agreement with WVLT over the past seven years,” said Steve Early, Vol Network General Manager. “This is a critical communications link between our fans and the University. The amount of time, energy, and programming WVLT dedicates to UT sports is unsurpassed. Now this coverage is expanded to an even greater level, and when you combine that size effort with the experience the Local 8 Sports Team brings to the task, it made the decision to extend our agreement a very easy one.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity for Local 8 News and Sports to provide Vol fans with even more football and basketball coverage this fall. We know how important UT and SEC coverage is to our viewers, and we want to offer them as much content as possible,” said WVLT VP of News, Lena Sadiwskyj.
“At Local 8 Sports, we have a long tradition of bringing Big Orange fans the area’s most comprehensive coverage of the Vols, and this extension with the Vol Network is a tremendous validation of that commitment and leadership position. I've watched that same dedication from the professionals at VolQuest over the years, and am thrilled to welcome them to our team. From big game highlights to behind the scenes access, when it comes to Tennessee, we are most definitely All Vol,” added Local 8 Sports Director Rick Russo.
The new Vol Network/VolQuest television partnership will kick off with coverage from the SEC Media Days, July 14, 2014.
About WVLT-TV and Gray Television: We are a television broadcast company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that owns and/or operates television stations and leading digital assets in markets throughout the United States. Upon completion of all pending transactions, we will own and/or operate television stations in 42 television markets broadcasting 139 program streams including 75 affiliates of the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX). At that time, our owned and/or operated stations will include twenty-seven channels affiliated with the CBS Network, twenty-four channels affiliated with the NBC Network, fourteen channels affiliated with the ABC Network and ten channels affiliated with the FOX Network. We will then own and/or operate the number-one ranked television station in 28 of those 42 markets and the number-one or number-two ranked television station operations in 38 of those 42 markets. We will reach approximately 7.4 percent of total United States television households.