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What’s On This Weekend in TV Sports (January 1-2)

Chris Tyree (25) of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish during a 2021 regular season game.
(Image credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

The New Year’s weekend slate of live TV sports starts Saturday on the football field with five college football bowl games slated to air on across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The Outback Bowl kicks off the day with Penn State facing Arkansas on ESPN2, followed by the Citrus Bowl matching Iowa against Kentucky on ABC. 

ESPN will televise three college football bowl games including the Fiesta Bowl (Oklahoma State-Notre Dame), Rose Bowl (Utah-Ohio State) and Sugar Bowl (Baylor-Mississippi). 

The penultimate week of the 2021 NFL season begins Sunday afternoon with regional game coverage on Fox and CBS, followed by NBC’s Sunday Night Football, featuring a battle between NFC Central rivals the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. 

Top-10 ranked men’s college basketball teams hitting the court this weekend include No. 1 Baylor’s matchup Saturday against eighth-ranked Iowa State on ESPNU, and 10th-ranked Michigan State’s game against Northwestern Sunday on Big Ten Network. 

On Saturday, Fox Sports will step into the boxing ring with a pay-per-view fight card featuring heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Charles Martin, while TNT will hit the ice with a primetime NHL Winter Classic outdoor game between the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild. 

On Sunday, USA Network will feature two English Premier League soccer games, while ESPN airs the high school football All-Star game. ■ 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.