Canisius To Produce ESPN3 Broadcasts for the MAAC
On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Canisius athletic digital media staff and a group of undergraduate communication students will join with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and PMTV to produce the first of four live college basketball broadcasts from the Koessler Athletic Center. This collaborative venture will feature Canisius students playing an integral role in the production of the games, which will be aired live on ESPN3 as part of the MAAC’s broadcast package agreement with the World Wide Leader in Sports.
The games will be produced directly out of the Golden Griffin Broadcast Control Room, a state-of-the-art facility in the College’s Science Hall building, which opened in the fall of 2015. In all, Canisius will provide 11 students and two full-time staff members to serve as the crew, handling game day responsibilities ranging from camera operator to video replay and in-game audio. As part of this working agreement, ESPN and PMTV will provide a producer/director, as well as on-air broadcast talent.
“As MAAC member schools invest in ESPN3 school production facilities and staffing the league is working with select programs to produce conference games under the MAAC/ESPN contract for distribution on the ESPN3 platform,” notes MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. “These initial broadcasts by Canisius’ production team are designed to evaluate the feasibility of using school producers on a regular basis within the framework of future MAAC/ESPN broadcast contract. The current agreement concludes with the 2016-17 academic year.”
The first joint production on Canisius’ campus will feature the Canisius men’s basketball team hosting Fairfield on Feb. 18, with tipoff on ESPN3 set for 8 p.m. The collaborative production venture will also broadcast the Canisius vs. Marist men’s basketball game Feb. 20, as well as the Canisius men’s and women’s doubleheader against long-time rival Niagara, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25.
Since opening the control room and broadcast studio in Science Hall last August, Canisius staff and students have produced 42 home sporting events, which have aired live on ESPN3. The first Canisius broadcast was Sept. 15, when Canisius became the first school in the MAAC to produce live volleyball action to be shown on ESPN3. Canisius has also produced other content out of its new facility, including a weekly Jim Baron Show, as well as extended postgame content for both men’s and women’s basketball home games. Those programs have been aired through the school’s official athletic website, GoGriffs.com, as well as the athletic department’s official YouTube page. In all, the new production set-up has allowed seven Canisius programs to appear on ESPN3 (men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and men’s and women’s lacrosse).
“This is a great hands-on learning experience for our students and we are excited to show how far we have come in just six months,” says Sam Hallett, Canisius Director of Digital Media. “We have produced a number of games already this year, but being able to work with professionals from ESPN takes this partnership to a new level. At the end of the night, we will be able to say we worked on something special and we hope to look back on this opportunity as a real step in the right direction, both for Canisius College athletics and our student production crew.”
Many of the Canisius students that serves as production crew members for the College’s effort to provide live game content to ESPN3 are enrolled in the college new Sports Broadcast Journalism major.