St. Cloud State’s Student-Run Husky Productions to Produce Live Events For Fox Sports
Student-run Husky Productions at St. Cloud State University is teaming with FOX Sports this season to produce five live men’s hockey broadcasts airing on FOX Sports North and FOX College Sports. The opportunity puts student-produced work in front of thousands of Huskies fans locally and nationally.
Husky Productions’ student broadcasters produce live coverage of all home men’s hockey games. Coverage has recently expanded to include women’s hockey, football and men’s and women’s basketball.
“St. Cloud State offers hands-on learning that is hard to find at another university,” said student producer Liz Burda, of Champlin. “The fact that we’re able to work with state-of-the-art equipment is a huge aspect that sets us apart from other schools – it’s the same gear that professionals in the TV production field use.”
To be producing live broadcasts at a professional level while still in college is rare, but with the university investing $4.8 million into the HD upgrade to the broadcast department in 2013, the commitment to the program is high.
“The commitment from the university with the HD upgrade has helped gain opportunities such as the FOX Sports broadcasts and our St. Cloud State Sports Network through Charter Communications. Our TV program graduates a large number of broadcast personnel in the industry,” said Derrick Silvestri ’06, UTVS television studio manager at St. Cloud State.
“St. Cloud State, the College of Liberal Arts and the mass communications department have made a commitment to offering students the highest quality of production gear to produce live sports,” said Brian Stanley ’93, executive producer of Husky Productions and faculty member. “This is the same gear graduates will work on upon graduation.”
When it came to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) playoffs in March, FOX Sports North and Husky Productions teamed up to air the first round of the playoffs. Airing student work on a regional sports network gave the students confidence as they translated their skills and what they learned to the big leagues of network TV.
“The NCHC playoffs on the FOX Sports North broadcasts last March forced us to work that much harder to perform at a professional level. We have high expectations for ourselves, but knowing the audience that the broadcast could reach challenged us that much more to meet the expectations of our viewers,” Burda said.
“Having the trust of college students airing a live broadcast regionally and nationally is a huge factor. We proved to everyone that our facility is second to none and our students still step up to the plate for a professional broadcast,” Silvestri said.
Husky Productions is run like an independent production company – those professional high expectations are standard from day one. With Husky Productions and UTVS (the university’s television station), learning and the challenges are met head on. New students are taught by older students with the engineering help and experience of Silvestri and Stanley. Students do it all from punching the buttons in the production room, manning the cameras and being the live-talent anchors during the shows.
“The program is very professional. With the same gear used in the industry, students are literally doing the same thing as they would when they graduate St. Cloud State with a Mass Communications degree. The transition from college to professional is an easy one,” Silvestri said.