Texas Tech Gives Its Sports Their Own Reality TV Show
On Sept. 4, Texas Tech will premiere a 38-episode reality TV series that will cover every sports program on the school’s roster. Titled The Ride, the series is intended to give viewers an inside look into the Red Raiders’ variety of athletic programs.
“With reality TV and the things young people are watching today, we figured this is a great way to target an audience that every college athletic program is trying to target,” says Blayne Beal, assistant athletic director for communications. “Any time we can give a behind-the-scenes look into our programs, it’s a great thing for our fans, and for recruiting.”
Although the first of the 30-minute programs will focus on football, “all of our sports will have one or two episodes dedicated specifically to them,” says Beal. “For sports that don’t traditionally get a lot of publicity on the national stage, they will get [exposure] in this reality show. We think it will be very beneficial for us.”
The series will be produced in-house at the university by a professional crew hired for the project. Texas Tech students will be involved in the series as well.
At the local level, the series will air on KAMC-TV Lubbock but will also be available throughout the Southeast on a variety of cable systems reaching the entire state of Texas, as well as Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Virginia. Nationally, the series will air on Fox College Sports. It will also be available on texastech.com, and plans are under way to release the series on DVD.
Production for the series began with this summer’s Big 12 Media Days and has continued during preseason football practices. “There are cameras everywhere you look,” says Beal. “Traditionally, cameras stop rolling. They don’t stop rolling here. In the heat of the moment, sometimes when things aren’t going well, there’s a camera right in your face.”
All of the school’s coaches felt the series was an effort worthwhile for the entire department, he says, although “it has been something our coaches have had to get used to.”
The programs go beyond the playing fields and locker rooms. Crews recently followed football coach Tommy Tuberville to a Texas Rangers game where he threw out the first pitch and spent some time with Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden, a Texas Tech alum who had pitched a perfect game on Mother’s Day.
“It was nice, behind the scenes, to see them getting to talk,” says Beal. “There are a lot of great things that people don’t get to see that they are going to see in the show.”
The Ride premieres the day before Texas Tech’s season-opening football game against SMU. The final episode is scheduled to air next May.