ESPNU to Televise “The Season: Ole Miss Baseball”

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 26, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – For the first time ever, ESPNU will broadcast an episode of “The Season: Ole Miss Baseball” through its airwaves, carrying the Omaha Challenge episode this Friday, November 27, at 12:30 p.m. CT.

The network broadcasts “The Season: Ole Miss Football” each week during the fall but will feature Mike Bianco‘s Rebel baseball program for the first time. It’s also the first time an episode of The Season will be premiered on ESPNU for any sport other than football.

“It’s huge for Ole Miss baseball. Everything we do in productions is to help shine a light on all of our programs. It’s really cool that Ole Miss baseball is now going to have that international audience on ESPNU,” said Associate Athletics Director for Sports Productions and Creative Services Micah Ginn. “But it’s also cool for our relationship with ESPNU. We’re hoping to continue opening doors to spotlight other sports in this way. The Season covers all of our sports. The hope is that this is now the bridge to other sports having opportunities for that kind of air time on a platform that covers the entire globe. It’s really, really exciting.”

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The episode will feature the Omaha Challenge—the Rebels’ annual offseason event, designed to assess the team’s athletic tools, strength, conditioning, mental toughness and more through different workouts, competitions and team-building exercises.

The Omaha Challenge has been a staple of the Rebel baseball program since the early years of the Bianco era. After a difficult finish to Bianco’s second season in the program, he created the Omaha Challenge to help his teams build endurance and toughness in a unique format during the offseason.

Each year’s format and events change slightly, always chosen and designed by the strength and conditioning coach with input from the rest of the staff. Strength and conditioning coach Zach Boone created this year’s format in his fourth season leading the Rebel strength program.

“The Season: Ole Miss Baseball” provides fans an in-depth view into the Rebel program game highlights, in addition to going inside the locker room, training room, practice fields and classrooms from the viewpoint of the student-athletes and coaches.

The Ole Miss Sports Productions staff also delivers personal features that include visits to the players’ houses, hangouts and hometowns for a truly intimate experience.

The show has picked up numerous awards since its creation in 2011, including Southeast Regional Emmy awards in 2014 and 2015 for best daily or weekly sports program and a Gold AVA Award in 2012 for outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media.

Ole Miss produces “The Season” episodes for each of its sports teams, as well as numerous other video pieces such as student-athlete features, event promos, highlight packages, commercials and in-venue pieces in addition to live videoboard shows for home sporting events.

ESPNU launched March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network televises more than 750 live events annually. Action includes a variety of top football and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as Olympic sports from 26 Division I conferences. ESPNU is the destination for premier collegiate and high school programming, including elite football, basketball, baseball, softball and lacrosse events. ESPNU, as part of ESPN’s wide-ranging agreement with the NCAA, has extensive coverage of NCAA Championship events.

About Ole Miss Athletics
The University of Mississippi, which is known as Ole Miss, is a member of the NCAA and Southeastern Conference and features 18 varsity sports in its athletics department. Bearing the nickname Rebels and wearing the colors Cardinal Red and Navy Blue, these teams and student-athletes have produced 25 national championships and 151 conference and division titles since 1893, when the football program fielded the school’s first varsity squad. Based in Oxford, Mississippi, with a student enrollment of 23,090, Ole Miss operates with a $117 million athletics budget.