WKYT, UK Sports Network to launch new weekly program 'Big Blue Nation TV'

Christi Thomas and Lee K. Howard on the set of the new "Big Blue Nation TV" show

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As the University of Kentucky’s 2019-20 athletics schedule gets underway, the UK Sports Network is revamping its programming with the debut of "Big Blue Nation TV" ("BBN TV") and "Big Blue Nation Radio" ("BBN Radio").

"BBN TV "is a weekly 30-minute television program built around exclusive access and analysis by UK Sports Network talent, co-hosted by Emmy-nominated sportscaster Lee K. Howard and veteran UK Sports Network radio host Christi Thomas.

The duo will be joined each week by University of Kentucky coaches and student-athletes, as well as a rotation of UK Sports Network talent, including Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro, Jeremy Jarmon, Dusty Bonner, Rex Chapman and Mike Pratt.

The show replaces previous UK Sports Network television programming, which consisted of "The Mark Stoops Show," "This Is Kentucky Basketball," "The Matthew Mitchell Show" and "The Nick Mingione Show."

"BBN TV" will be available digitally on Friday nights beginning August 30 and air on WKYT at 5:30 a.m. Saturdays and then again at 10 a.m. Saturdays on The CW Lexington beginning August 31.

The first episode of "BBN TV" features Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart in-studio as a guest, a one-on-one conversation with UK football head Coach Mark Stoops and expert analysis of UK football’s season-opener against Toledo.

WKYT, the official station of UK Athletics, will produce the show in conjunction with JMI Sports, the University of Kentucky’s multimedia rights partner. TJ Beisner, director of digital media and content development for JMI Sports, will oversee the project along with WKYT’s Dick Gabriel.

In conjunction with "BBN TV," the UK Sports Network is launching "BBN Radio," a weekly insider’s look at UK Athletics, hosted by Darren Headrick, the voice of UK baseball and UK women’s basketball, and a rotating cast of University of Kentucky coaches and student-athletes, as well as UK Sports Network talent.

"BBN Radio" replaces Big Blue Weekly in the 7 to 8 p.m. time slot on Monday nights and will follow the "UK HealthCare Mark Stoops Show" in the fall and the "UK Healthcare John Calipari Show" in the winter and spring. The show will provide insight straight from University of Kentucky coaches and student-athletes, as well as an opportunity for fans to have their voices heard each week through phone calls and social media interactions.

"BBN Radio" premieres Aug. 26 following "The UK Healthcare Mark Stoops Show" and will feature Barnhart as the first guest. The show is available on all UK Sports Network radio affiliates.

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