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Minnesota Gophers: TV Schedules Released for Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Hockey

Get used to streaming people—you are going to need it.

Syndication: IowaCity Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

It’s been a week full of TV announcements. Over the last 48 hours the Big Ten and the Minnesota Gophers have announced the TV schedule for both the Gophers men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s and women’s hockey teams. If you haven’t gotten used to streaming your favorite Gopher action, well let this be a warning—you have a couple more weeks to get your set up figured out. The new Big Ten TV contracts are in full effect so no more ESPN family of channels to watch your favorite team. All Big Ten action will be on one of the Fox family of channels (FS1 or BTN) or via the Fox and NBC streaming networks of B1G+ and Peacock. More than 20 games between both basketball teams and men’s hockey will be available via streaming only this season. Women’s hockey is used to B1G+ as it is the home of most of their regular season games. It’s the beginning of something new whether you like it or not. Gopher football’s game on November 4th at Purdue is set to be a Peacock exclusive as well, so might as well get ready and shell out for a few months of the streaming service before the main seasons kick off here soon. Below is a breakdown of the announced TV schedules and where you will be able to see all the Gopher action this fall and winter.

Gopher Men’s Basketball:

The Gophers are set to play 31 regular season games and one exhibition game this season and all will be available to watch or stream. Twenty-two of Minnesota’s regular season games will be on the familiar channels of Big Ten Network or FS1 beginning with the Gophers game against Missouri from the barn on November 16th on BTN.

Minnesota will have five games that will exclusively stream on Peacock this season, three non-conference games and two Big Ten games. The Peacock games kick off with Minnesota’s game against UT-San Antonio at the barn on November 10th. The two Big Ten games that will stream on Peacock will be the game at Michigan on January 4th, and when the Gophers host Michigan State on February 6th.

The Gophers will have three regular season games that will be B1G+ exclusives including the season opener against Bethune Cookman on November 6th. The other two games will be against IUPUI on December 12th and Ball State on December 21st. Additionally Minnesota’s exhibition game against Macalester on November 2nd will stream on B1G+.

The lone game on Minnesota’s schedule yet to have TV announced will be their only road non-conference game when Minnesota faces San Francisco at the Chase Center in November. The WCC has a TV deal with ESPN so it is likely that the game in San Francisco will end up on one of the ESPN family of networks.

The opening two games of the Big Ten Tournament which takes place at Target Center this March will stream on Peacock with day two and day three action on BTN before CBS takes over for the semifinals and Championship Game.

Gopher Women’s Basketball:

The Gopher women will have every single one of their games available to watch either on TV or via streaming this season. Eight games will be televised this season with six on BTN, one on FS1, and one on SEC Network. Three games will stream exclusively on Peacock. The rest of the Big Ten action and the Gophers home non-conference games will stream on B1G+.

Minnesota’s first broadcasted game this season will be one of their most attractive as the Gophers host UConn and Minnesota native Paige Bueckers at the Barn. That game will air live on FS1 on November 19th. The lone other non-conference game to air on TV will be Minnesota’s trip to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats on December 6th. That game will air on SEC Network.

Minnesota will play six Big Ten games on Big Ten Network this season— at Iowa on December 30th, at Michigan on January 9th, at Wisconsin on January 23rd, at Michigan State on February 5th, at Rutgers on February 13th, and finally at home against the Badgers on February 20th.

Minnesota’s three Peacock games will be at Indiana on January 17th, vs Ohio State on February 8th, and vs Iowa on February 28th. The remainder of Minnesota games will stream on B1G+.

The Big Ten Tournament will be like the men’s streaming on Peacock for the opening two games, then on Big Ten Network for the next two days before the semifinals and Championship game air on CBS. For the second year in a row the Big Ten Tournament will be at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Men’s Hockey:

The Gopher Hockey TV picture will look vastly different for the first time in several years as no games will air on the Bally’s Sports family of networks. As Diamond Sports, the parent company of Bally’s Sports works through bankruptcy, the college hockey world has moved away due to the uncertainty, which will fortunately or unfortunately mean a lot more games will be only available by streaming on B1G+ this season. But, as always the Gophers have the most robust TV schedule in the nation as the Gophers athletic department has stepped up and is working with Rush Media to produce a set of ten games that will be broadcast locally over the air on Fox 9 and Fox 9+ this season. Minnesota is actually paying Fox to air the set of games this year to make sure that Gophers fans have the best TV schedule in the nation. Those games will include a trio of road games at former WCHA foes in North Dakota and UMD that have been rarely broadcast locally in the Twin Cities since the road markets took over their broadcast rights. But the Gophers are still not immune to the lack of broadcast outlets now that Bally’s is leaving coverage nationwide. Minnesota will have 8 games this season that will only be available on BTN+. Six of the games are Big Ten road games while the other two are Minnesota’s pair of home exhibition games.

Fox 9 will air four Friday night games on the main station this season. That includes Minnesota’s regular season opener against St. Thomas at the Xcel Energy Center next Friday October 13th. They also will carry the Friday night game October 20th at North Dakota, the game on November 17th against Notre Dame and the game against Ohio State on January 19th.

  • Fox 9+ or 9-2 over the air will carry another ten Minnesota games with eight of them coming from 3M Arena at Mariucci and two more on the road. The games included in this package are:
  • 10/14 St. Thomas
  • 10/21 @ North Dakota
  • 11/3 Minnesota Duluth
  • 11/4 @ Minnesota Duluth
  • 11/18 Notre Dame
  • 11/24 Michigan State
  • 1/7 Colorado College
  • 1/8 Colorado College
  • 1/12 Robert Morris
  • 1/13 Robert Morris

The ten Gophers home games will feature Sam Ekstrom on play-by-play a role he performed for the games on Bally’s Sports North last season. Gopher legend Pat Micheletti will be the color commentator. The road games at North Dakota and UMD and potentially the UST game at the X will all be the home team broadcasts that will be simulcasted on the Fox 9 or Fox 9+ networks.

Fox 9+ in Minnesota can be found on: Comcast channel 10/807, DirecTV channel 29, DISH channel 29, Spectrum channel 10, Mediacom channel 10/803, and channel 9.2 via antenna. For those who don’t live in the Fox 9 coverage area at least the ten home games will also stream on B1G+.

Another eleven Gophers games will air on Big Ten Network this season on the dates below:

  • 10/26 Wisconsin
  • 10/27 Wisconsin
  • 11/26 Michigan State
  • 12/2 @ Penn State
  • 12/8 @ Ohio State
  • 12/9 @ Ohio State
  • 1/20 Ohio State
  • 1/27 @ Michigan State
  • 2/10 Penn State
  • 3/1 Michigan
  • 3/2 Michigan

Minnesota will also have one game on FS1 this season as the networks showcase the Gophers and Penn State from 3M Arena at Mariucci on February 9th.

While not yet officially announced, its fully expected that Minnesota’s road series at Notre Dame on February 16th and 17th will be streamed on Peacock as in previous years.

That leaves eight games that will only be available via streaming on B1G+. Unfortunately for Minnesota fans those eight feature six Big Ten road games including four against Minnesota’s biggest rivals in the conference at the moment. The eight games only available on B1G+ are:

  • 10/8 Bemidji State (exh.)
  • 11/10 @ Michigan
  • 11/11 @ Michigan
  • 12/1 @ Penn State
  • 1/2 USNTDP U18s (exh.)
  • 1/26 @ Michigan State
  • 2/2 @ Wisconsin
  • 2/3 @ Wisconsin

The TV for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament is TBD depending on matchups and who earns the first round bye. The semifinals and Championship Game of the big ten Tournament will air on Big Ten Network.

Minnesota Women’s Hockey:

The Gophers will have four road regular season games that will air live on Fox9+ this season. Nine WCHA games will air on the channel during the regular season featuring all eight teams in the conference. Minnesota will have the following games on Fox9+:

Friday, Oct. 13: Minnesota at St. Thomas - 4 p.m

Saturday, Nov. 4: Minnesota at Minnesota State - 4 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 20: Minnesota at Bemidji State - 3 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 27: Minnesota at Minnesota State - 2 p.m.

Additionally the Gophers home opener against St. Cloud State where they will raise their WCHA Tournament Championship Banner on Tuesday October 17th is listed as being aired live on Big Ten Network.

It’s also possible that a late addition to the TV schedule on a game on BTN may occur later in the season. All of the remainder of Minnesota’s WCHA games and home non-conference games will stream live on B1G+. Minnesota’s series at RIT this weekend will stream on Flo Hockey and the tv/streaming situation for the D1 in DC tournament over Thanksgiving Weekend where the Gophers will face Harvard and Cornell has yet to be announced.

Fox9+ will also air all three games of the WCHA Final Faceoff from Ridder Arena in March.

So how do I do the Streaming??

Unfortunately Peacock and B1G+ subscriptions are not free. But, they are not terribly expensive either. Peacock subscriptions start at $5.99 a month for the general public and are available for just $1.99 a month for University of Minnesota students. B1G+ is more expensive and it will depend on the level of coverage you want. If you want every game that is available on B1G+ for all sports and all 14 schools you can buy a yearly pass for $119.95 or $14.95 a month. If you just want to pay to see all Minnesota’s games and don’t care about any of the other action from the 13 other schools you can get a school pass for Minnesota games for $79.95 a year or $9.95 a month. If you just want an individual sport you can choose that as well. For all of the men’s and women’s basketball games combined for all 14 teams a season pass will run you $54.99. If you want just women’s hockey you can get the WCHA pass for $49.99 for the season, or for all of the hockey action for both the men and the women it’s just $59.99 for the season.

It’s the beginning of a new normal on TV and streaming for college sports, and the streaming aspect will only grow as the Big Ten adds four more teams and more and more games in all sports next season. Learn it, and love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.