posted December 11, 2005

Hope-Calvin Game Goes National on CSTV

 After playing at the Holland Civic Center for more than 50 years, Hope moves to the its new DeVos Fieldhouse and will host Calvin there on January 14, 2006.   The storied rivalry between the two MIAA and NCAA Division III foes takes on a new national scope this season with a live game broadcast by CSTV: College Sports Television.  CSTV, the nation's number one destination for college sports, is easily accessible on cable systems around the country and on satellite via Dish Network (Channel 152), DirecTV (Channel 610). 

In Grand Rapids, PBS affiliate WGVU-TV will originate the game.  In past years, the schools have worked with WGVU to provide an analog satellite signal of the game for organized remote viewing parties sponsored by Calvin and Hope alumni.  The gatherings have drawn over 2,500 alumni nationwide from the two schools.

"WGVU has been a great partner for us for many years now," says Tom Renner, the public relations director for HopeCollege.  "We have been thrilled with their commitment to what we consider the best rivalry in Division III basketball."

"We have, however, been looking for ways to make the game more available to alumni around the country," says Mike VanDenend, director of alumni relations at Calvin.  "We knew we needed to find another direction to go and we found the perfect fit with CSTV, which will take this coast-to-coast alumni experience to a new level."

"Our partnership will provide an easily accessible national outlet for Calvin-Hope alumni and sports fans across the country to watch this great match-up," said Tim Pernetti, SVP of Programming and Talent, CSTV Networks.  "This game is more than an annual rivalry and exemplifies the passion, pageantry and intense competition that drive millions of sports fans to CSTV on a daily basis."

The Calvin-Hope game has gained national attention in recent years and was recently ranked one of the country's best rivalries behind Duke/North Carolina, Connecticut/Tennessee (women's) and Louisville/Kentucky.  The first game between the two schools was played during the 1920-21 season.  Since then, Hope and Calvin have played 157 times with Calvin holding a slim 80-77 advantage.  Over 157 games, just 11 points separate the two teams.  Hope has scored 10,439 while Calvin has scored 10,450.

Geographic proximity adds to the rivalry as the two colleges are located just 35 miles apart in west Michigan (Hope in Holland on the Lake Michigan shoreline and Calvin 35 miles to the east in Grand Rapids).  They also share a common religious heritage with Calvin's denomination splitting off from Hope's denomination in the late 1800s.

See http://www.hope.edu/pr/athletics/therivalry/index.html for history on the rivalry and http://www.calvin.edu/thegame for information about the satellite broadcast and locations.  For more information about CSTV, visit www.cstv.com.

CSTV Networks Inc. is the leading digital and cable programming network dedicated to college sports. Connecting more fans to more college sports than any other company, its many platforms for programming distribution include CSTV: College Sports TV, televising regular-season and championship events for 35 men's and women's college sports; CSTV.com and its network of nearly 250 official athletic sites; CSTV All Access, online and pay-per-view subscription services providing live audio and video of more than 7,000 events annually; as well as satellite television and radio, in-flight entertainment, wireless networks and more.  In November, CBS announced it will purchase CSTV for $325 million, effective January, 2006.