Sooner Sports TV has reached an agreement with Fox College Sports to distribute its content nationally, the OU athletic department announced Thursday. In addition to coverage on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox College Sports (FCS) will broadcast nearly 400 hours of Sooner Sports TV-produced programming across its three digital cable networks — FCS Atlantic, FCS Central and FCS Pacific — available to more than 80 million homes.
The arrangement adds live events and replays, as well as feature programming and weekly shows such as “Sooner Sports Talk” and the Lon Kruger and Sherri Coale coaches shows.
The Vanderbilt at OU women's basketball's game at 2 p.m. Sunday will be OU's first live game coverage, airing on FCS Central with same-day replays on FCS Atlantic at 4 p.m. and FCS Pacific at 6 p.m.
FCS is available on Cox (271, 272 and 273), DirecTV (608, 623 and 626), AT&T U-verse (647, 648 and 649) and Verizon Fios (300, 301 and 302).
OKC falls to seventh in ESPN ratings
Oklahoma City and Tulsa finished in the top 12 for ESPN markets for its college football telecasts, but both were down from last year. Oklahoma City, with a 3.4 rating, slipped from a tie for second in 2011 with a 4.3 rating to seventh at 3.4. Ratings for ESPN's two OU broadcasts — vs. OSU, 30.4, and at TCU, 18.5 — were below par for the Sooners. Tulsa fell from a tie for seventh at 3.3 into a tie for 12th at 2.5.
Birmingham, Ala., led the way for the 12th season in a row with an 8.9 average. The rest of ESPN's top five markets: Greenville, S.C., 4.7; Knoxville, Tenn., 4.6; New Orleans, 3.7; Jacksonville, Fla., 3.6; Columbus, Ohio, 3.6.
Merchant to retire as boxing announcer
Larry Merchant, a 1951 OU graduate and former Sooner football player, will end his 35-year run as a ringside boxing commentator for HBO Sports with the season finale of “World Championship Boxing” at 8:30 p.m. Saturday from Houston. Following the telecast, Merchant will be moving into another phase of his wide-ranging career.