WDBJ 7 named Flagship Television Station for Hokies, ISP Sports
WDBJ 7 to air Virginia Tech Sports Today and Hokie Playback starting this fall
May 22, 2006

BLACKSBURG - There's a new television home for Virginia Tech sports in the Roanoke Valley - your "Hometown Station."

WDBJ 7 has been named Flagship Television Station for Virginia Tech Athletics and will serve as the new outlet for both Virginia Tech Sports Today and The Hokie Playback.

Starting this fall, WDBJ 7 will produce and broadcast 31 editions of Virginia Tech Sports Today, Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. The programs will also be re-broadcast several times each week on WDBJ's digital channel, 7 Too.

WDBJ 7 has also been granted rights to re-broadcast at least six Virginia Tech football games Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. The Hokie Playback will also be shown Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights at 11 p.m. on WDBJ's digital channel, 7 Too.

"We're excited about this," Tech head football coach Frank Beamer said. "We keep growing and growing with Virginia Tech Sports Today and partnering with Channel 7 is another step in making it a better product. And, to get the chance to see our games two, three, or four times, that's just tremendous for our fans."

The new agreement between ISP Sports, Virginia Tech, and WDBJ 7 is for five years beginning with the 2006 football season. The first edition of Virginia Tech Sports Today will air on Sunday, August 20th.

"WDBJ 7 has made a serious commitment to Virginia Tech and we couldn't be more pleased and excited," ISP Sports Assistant Vice President Bill Roth said. "The production values that you see in the station's locally produced programs, specifically its newscasts every day and Friday Football Extra are remarkable. Plus, fans will have the opportunity to see Virginia Tech Sports Today and The Hokie Playback several times throughout the week."

WDBJ 7 has been the region's dominant news organization for decades and has not lost a ratings book since Neilson began tracking television ratings over 40 years ago. The station operates from a totally digital broadcast center in Roanoke, Va.

"Even before Tech joined the ACC, they were the most marketable sports product in the area. Now, they've taken it to a new level," said WBDJ 7 Program Director Mike Bell. "Everybody in the business knows this is a good thing to have and we were very aggressive about pursuing it."

Virginia Tech Sports Today is a 30-minute program which includes highlights, features, and interviews with Tech players and coaches. It runs from August through March of each year.

The Hokie Playback is the weekly re-broadcast of Virginia Tech home football games in their entirety. It can also be seen on Comcast SportsNet at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoons.

"The decision to partner with WDBJ 7 on these initiatives is critical to our continued success at ISP Sports," Assistant Vice President and General Manager Rick Barakat said. "As the exclusive multi-media rights holder for Virginia Tech Athletics, we take great pride in our marketing and sponsorship program. WDBJ 7 will be an excellent addition to our strong network of radio and television stations."