ESPN3 to televise state title games

All eight 2010 IHSA state football championship games will be shown live on ESPNChicago.com and ESPN3.com.

It will be the first time ESPN broadcasts a high school state association state final in any sport.

"Illinois is a state with a rich tradition of high school sports and a fan base that is passionate about its local high school teams," ESPN3.com vice president Damon Phillips said. "We look forward to the 2010 IHSA football state championship games being the first state high school association state finals to be broadcast on ESPN3.com and the ESPN family of networks."

The IHSA state football finals begin on Friday, Nov. 26 with the Class 1A title game at 10 a.m. and will be followed by Class 2A at 1 p.m., Class 3A at 4 p.m. and Class 4A at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 27, the Class 5A state championship is set kick off at 10 a.m. and will be followed by Class 6A at 1 p.m., Class 7A at 4 p.m. and Class 8A at 7 p.m.

"I am not sure there is a company or organization on the planet that has defined sports and sports coverage in my lifetime more than ESPN," IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said. "The opportunity to align ourselves with ESPN3.com is very exciting and unique to say the least."

Earlier this season, ESPN broadcasted defending Class 8A state champions Maine South vs. defending Class 7A champions Wheaton Warrenville South on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. ESPN3.com has also broadcasted a number of Catholic League football games this season.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at preps@espnchicago.com.