Fox College Sports Showcases Student-Athletes at World University Games

By Carolyn Braff

The World University Games took place last month in Harbin, China, but, beginning next Wednesday, Olympic sports fans can see how the United States’ 55-member delegation fared against 1,650 student-athletes from 44 countries. Fox College Sports holds the domestic rights for the FISU World University Games through 2011 and will premiere the 2009 Winter Games on tape delay March 25-28 on FCS Atlantic, FCS Central, and FCS Pacific.

The “Universiade” is a multi-sport event held every two years for student-athletes ages 17-28. FCS has been the exclusive U.S. home of the winter and summer World University Games since 2007. All together, FCS will present 12 hours of coverage for initial air on FCS Atlantic, with re-airs on FCS Central and FCS Pacific.

“The FISU World University Games are a huge part of Fox College Sports’ programming package,” says Max Casanova, director of programming for FCS. “It gives us the opportunity to showcase collegiate talent not only in the U.S. but around the globe as well, which is a big goal for our network. By broadcasting the Winter University Games here in America, we can expose our nation to exceptional collegiate competition on an international scale as well as showcase the Olympians of the future that will be out there representing our country for years to come.”

Eurovision televised the Winter University Games, so FCS took in clean feeds from Eurovision and added English voiceovers and graphics for air in the U.S. Coverage of this winter’s competition includes five events (ski jumping, freestyle skiing men’s individual aerials, alpine skiing, snowboarding halfpipe, and men’s ice hockey) and six highlights episodes, which cover the events in which U.S. student-athletes participated (synchronized skating, figure skating, men’s and women’s curling, and men’s ice hockey).

“What makes the Winter Games unique is that it features sports that aren’t typically in the main spotlight in the American media,” Casanova explains. “FCS loves to feature collegiate club sports that don’t receive the same attention as the big three — like collegiate bass fishing, surfing, and paintball — and the Winter Games falls perfectly into this category.”

FCS will also televise the Summer University Games, which will take place in Serbia June 30-July 12.

“There has always been a sense of patriotism when it comes to the Olympic Games,” Casanova says. “Viewers all of a sudden become fans of sports they never were interested in before, because of the atmosphere the Olympics create around the world in representing your country through sport. FCS believes that, with the great exposure the Winter [University] Games will receive on FCS, a natural interest will be built for the Summer Games that will bring back Olympic-sports fans in July.”

For more information on the 2009 Winter World University Games, visit www.foxcollegesports.com or http://en.harbin2009.org/.

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