Tennessee football season opener to be on pay-per-view

The University of Tennessee's football season opener and Butch Jones' debut as head coach of the Vols will be televised on a pay-per-view basis across the state of Tennessee. Kickoff for the game on Saturday, Aug. 31 vs. Austin Peay is scheduled for 6 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Central. The game will be available nationally on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3, with a blackout in the State of Tennessee.

The announcing team for the game telecast will be Mike Keith (play-by-play) and former Vol and NFL quarterback Pat Ryan (color analyst). Keith is the voice of the NFL's Tennessee Titans and is entering his 15th season as the team's Director of Broadcasting. He was a member of the Vol Network from 1987 until his departure in early 1998 to join the Titans broadcast team. During his time in Knoxville, he also held positions with WIVK/WNOX Radio and WBIR-TV. Keith also serves as the host/executive producer of the Titans All Access television show and has called numerous TSAA high school football state championship games on television over the years.

Keith will be reunited in the broadcast booth with longtime friend and former Titans Network colleague Pat Ryan who will serve as color analyst. Keith and Ryan teamed together from 1999-2004 on the Titans Radio Network. They were the radio broadcast team for the Titans' Super Bowl in 2000. Ryan finished his career with the Vols in 1977 and went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL including 13 with the New York Jets from 1978-90.

Cable systems across the state of Tennessee are scheduled to carry the telecast from the VideoSeat pay-per-view service. Fans may begin contacting their local cable system to find out how to order the game and receive price information. The game will also be made available as a pay-per-view event to Tennessee DISH Network, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse subscribers. Channel numbers and ordering information for home dish owners will be released the week of the game.

ESPN GamePlan will offer the game to fans living outside the state of Tennessee via the ESPN GamePlan package and online via ESPN3. The game will be blacked out on ESPN GamePlan in the state of Tennessee and cannot be ordered as part of ESPN's package.

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Comments » 35

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I'm not paying it, too many good games that weekend and radio transmissions work well enough to listen to play by play. I just wish John Ward were still calling games, that voice made radio better than television..GBO!!

mikclark47 writes:

I guess I will read about it the next day. I don't know if I can take another year of Kessling...

underthehill writes:

Pay per view..don't they have expenses to do this..if they make a profit on this..gonna have to find a bunch of fans far more loyal than myself..

CoverOrange writes:

Wasn't part of the deal with ESPN that they have option to broadcast 10 of the 12 games of each SEC team? If CBS, ABC,or Fox doesn't pick it up, then it falls to some fourth party network to show it. I remember the days when John Ward or a ticket to the game were the only options.

Vol1973 writes:

Great to live out of state and see all the games on ESPN3 if not on TV... play ball... it's football time in Tennessee !!! GBO

Orangeblood13 writes:

didn't know Mike Keith was not a part of the Titans broadcast team

I often travel back to Missouri on Sunday's and not a Titan's fan, but he is good imo, like his enthusiasm

Orangeblood13 writes:

didn't read the article good enough, disregard my last statement lol

VolGrad writes:

in response to Vol1973:

Great to live out of state and see all the games on ESPN3 if not on TV... play ball... it's football time in Tennessee !!! GBO

I thought that was great too.. until my DSL provider decided to stop carrying ESPN3. Idiots.

O well, I'll actually be in state visiting family that weekend anyway.

GBO!

SavTnVol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I'm not paying it, too many good games that weekend and radio transmissions work well enough to listen to play by play. I just wish John Ward were still calling games, that voice made radio better than television..GBO!!

I'm buying it. Still a lot cheaper than gas for driving 5 hours each way, buying tickets, getting a motel and best of all, I'll watch it on my patio and all I gotta do is get up and walk to the edge to discharge some beer. And having 25-30 friends and a big screen and projector set up is a HOOT! GBO! Beside, just can't stand that radio dude.

VolGrad writes:

Anyone following John Ward in the booth was bound to be cursed despite John's rejection of that idea just before he retired. I think he underestimated his influence on the Tennessee football faithful over the years.

I feel sorry for those who never got to hear John call a game. At least they can hear some snippets on youtube these days, but even that is not the same as hearing it live. Even with the TV broadcast, I remember turning down the sound and listening to John Ward though the audio and picture were not together.

Having said that. The man who follows Kesling has a much better chance of success. I don't have anything against Kesling, but not only is his style very different... the quality of performance just isn't anywhere near Ward's. That probably applies to the whole support cast.

Go Vols! #RiseToTheTop

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

I have ESPN Gameplan every year for just such an occasion.
$120 a year and all I need is 1 Vols game a year that I wouldn't otherwise be able to see without it to pay for itself, and all the other games are gravy!

BolivrBob writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I'm not paying it, too many good games that weekend and radio transmissions work well enough to listen to play by play. I just wish John Ward were still calling games, that voice made radio better than television..GBO!!

Yea Beare....John was the best! But I wouldn''t miss this game for nothing! Can't wait to see how they look. We'll get to see a lot of the new guys. A lot of the team will get some action. Might even get to see Dobbs and Fergy

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

I'm buying it. Still a lot cheaper than gas for driving 5 hours each way, buying tickets, getting a motel and best of all, I'll watch it on my patio and all I gotta do is get up and walk to the edge to discharge some beer. And having 25-30 friends and a big screen and projector set up is a HOOT! GBO! Beside, just can't stand that radio dude.

I hear ya, i guess i'm just old because big crowds and fb aren't fun to me anymore. I watch every play and don't have time to chit chat or socialize until the game is over. I do enjoy sticking a hog and gulping down some Bass Ale before kick off..GBO!!

stevefrommemphis writes:

Alabama vs Virginia Tech, Auburn v Washington St, and Georgia v Clemson are on at the same time. Tenn-AP will be a radio game for me.

rusty_shackleford writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Alabama vs Virginia Tech, Auburn v Washington St, and Georgia v Clemson are on at the same time. Tenn-AP will be a radio game for me.

Amen! Too many good games on TV to spend a dime on Peay

gohawks1 writes:

I'll have to pay... gotta see the Butchball debut. I also wish Mike Keith would call all Vols games. If I can't have John Ward back, Mike is the next best thing.

imw8n4u writes:

I can understand blacking this out in East TN to get more people to attend, but to black it out in Nashville, Jackson and Memphis is just stupid. They are leaving a lot of money on the table when they do that.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

I'm buying it. Still a lot cheaper than gas for driving 5 hours each way, buying tickets, getting a motel and best of all, I'll watch it on my patio and all I gotta do is get up and walk to the edge to discharge some beer. And having 25-30 friends and a big screen and projector set up is a HOOT! GBO! Beside, just can't stand that radio dude.

I would hate to be anyone's guest watching a ball game or anything on tv from a patio while grown stupid men empty their bladder.You must have one hel- of a smell coming from the patio.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Well, no TV and my laptop crashed... Guess I'll have to see if I can get football on my phone (cue the Mannings)

kdaff51 writes:

PAY TO VIEW Tennessee v Austin Peay? You have got to be kidding me.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to mikclark47:

I guess I will read about it the next day. I don't know if I can take another year of Kessling...

Agreed

tnqball writes:

I will just wait until the game is over and watch the replay on ESPN3 for free.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I would hate to be anyone's guest watching a ball game or anything on tv from a patio while grown stupid men empty their bladder.You must have one hel- of a smell coming from the patio.

Lil abner likes to call people dumb and stupid. Lil abner's anonymity gives him courage.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I'm not paying it, too many good games that weekend and radio transmissions work well enough to listen to play by play. I just wish John Ward were still calling games, that voice made radio better than television..GBO!!

You got that right! I remember going to the games as a kid in the 70s and watching my Dad and everyone around him listening to Ward on the radio through headphones. Those were the days. Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of the games on ESPN3 here in Texas. Might make it home for a game this year I hope. GBO!

SavTnVol writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I would hate to be anyone's guest watching a ball game or anything on tv from a patio while grown stupid men empty their bladder.You must have one hel- of a smell coming from the patio.

Yeah, smells like that area tween 21st and West End, but we used to it.

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

You got that right! I remember going to the games as a kid in the 70s and watching my Dad and everyone around him listening to Ward on the radio through headphones. Those were the days. Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of the games on ESPN3 here in Texas. Might make it home for a game this year I hope. GBO!

If in the '70s, it was actually earpieces coming out of transistor radios.

John and Bill's call of the '85 Orange Bowl and the Miracle in South Bend will never be equaled for true VOL fans. Kessling has an impossible task for those that expect him to exceed John Ward.

Moesart writes:

ESPN3 blackout again huh? I'll watch it somewhere else streamed on the internet. It will be out there, especially if it's on ESPN.

Moesart writes:

"John and Bill's call of the '85 Orange Bowl"

I have that on an old video tape somewhere. I need to burn it to dvdr. It's the ABC broadcast with the Vol network audio. Don't remember how I did that, but I did.

Come to think of it, a lot of people would probably want a copy.

Vol43 writes:

in response to gohawks1:

I'll have to pay... gotta see the Butchball debut. I also wish Mike Keith would call all Vols games. If I can't have John Ward back, Mike is the next best thing.

Amen, bro. At one time, Mike was considered to replace the great John Ward, but something happened. I heard Kessling on local sports radio the other day and there's no doubt in my mind he's orange thru and thru, but he is awful at his job. I hate saying that, but he will absolutely wear you out!

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Vol43:

Amen, bro. At one time, Mike was considered to replace the great John Ward, but something happened. I heard Kessling on local sports radio the other day and there's no doubt in my mind he's orange thru and thru, but he is awful at his job. I hate saying that, but he will absolutely wear you out!

Mike Keith was the replacement in waiting. He knew that Mr. Ward couldn't truly be replaced and the Titans came to Tennessee. Smart move.

dkta writes:

Sounds like a good time to go fishing or to a movie each time they do this.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

You got that right! I remember going to the games as a kid in the 70s and watching my Dad and everyone around him listening to Ward on the radio through headphones. Those were the days. Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of the games on ESPN3 here in Texas. Might make it home for a game this year I hope. GBO!

Back in the 70's UT only played on TV one or two games a year. I remember cutting wood and listening to the Vol network. John Ward made the game more important than reality and his color commentary was so much more thrilling than the actual play. One weekend we headed to Memphis to see UT play Ole Miss at the Liberty Bowl. I had my ear piece in to listen to John Ward and watch the game live. I really appreciated his talents after that game, and unfortunately for today's generation they missed out on a remarkable talent and mental visual stimulation that John Ward painted with his voice.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

Yea Beare....John was the best! But I wouldn''t miss this game for nothing! Can't wait to see how they look. We'll get to see a lot of the new guys. A lot of the team will get some action. Might even get to see Dobbs and Fergy

If Dobbs doesn't get to play against APSU then it's safe to say he'll be starting before the year is over.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

If in the '70s, it was actually earpieces coming out of transistor radios.

John and Bill's call of the '85 Orange Bowl and the Miracle in South Bend will never be equaled for true VOL fans. Kessling has an impossible task for those that expect him to exceed John Ward.

MAN, I miss JW so much! Loved the '98 Sterner fumble game.

DonK37920 writes:

I at least like the option of letting people buy it as opposed to it not being available at all. It's on pay-per-view because no network picked it up and that's the only remaining option. I'd pay to see any Tennessee game if I were not able to attend for some reason and I suspect our fan base will do the same.

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