OLUMBUS – FOX Sports Ohio and the Columbus Crew have entered into a new television rights agreement, it was announced today by Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers and Henry Ford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX Sports Ohio. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
FOX Sports Ohio will produce and televise 32 Crew soccer games, all in high definition. The first “Soccer Night in Ohio” featuring the Crew on FOX Sports Ohio will be Saturday, March 10, at Colorado.
“I am extremely excited for our fans throughout the region that they will be able to follow the Crew on the top regional sports network in the state,” McCullers said. “Importantly, through this relationship with FOX Sports Ohio, the Crew brand reach will be substantially increased across the state and throughout the region, as will the brand reach of our corporate partners and advertisers.”
“As Ohio’s leading regional sports network, this deal was a natural for our network and we are proud to partner with the Columbus Crew,” Ford said. “Crew fans will be given the same inside access and in-depth, state-of-the-art coverage of their soccer team that sports fans across the state have come to expect from FOX Sports Ohio. We look forward to growing our relationship with the Crew.”
Calling all the Crew action on FOX Sports Ohio will be play-by-play man Dwight Burgess, the original “Voice of the Crew,” and analyst Duncan Oughton. Joining them on home telecasts will be sideline reporter Ashleigh Ignelzi.
Burgess, a broadcast veteran of more than three decades and longtime collegiate soccer coach, returns for his 17th season behind the microphone for the Crew. His background includes a stint with XM Radio as a studio host during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and two seasons as the radio play-by-play announcer for Ohio State men’s basketball. Burgess was a head coach at Capital University for 10 years, where his men’s and women’s teams combined to win six conference titles and earn three NCAA Tournament berths.
Oughton, the longest-serving player in club history, returns for his second season in the booth after retiring from a 10-year career in Black & Gold following the 2010 campaign. He now serves as assistant technical director and works in the front office in a variety of functional areas, in addition to his TV duties. Over the course of his storied Crew career, Oughton was a part of all five major trophies won by the club and became one of the most beloved figures in club history. A 34-year-old native of Wellington, New Zealand, Oughton was also a longtime member of his national team, having been capped 22 times by the All Whites, as they are known.
Ignelzi is entering her third season as the Crew’s online video host and first on the TV broadcast team. A native of Columbus, she graduated from Otterbein College and currently works as a reporter on FOX Sports Ohio’s “Game Time with Urban Meyer” and as a remote reporter for ESPN the Magazine, covering professional sports in Ohio. She started her career with the Ohio News Network as a host and reporter on the Average Joe Sports Show.
Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio’s Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league’s Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It will open its 17th season on March 10 at the Colorado Rapids and its 14th at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium on March 24 against the Montreal Impact.