Big East Launches Digital-First Live Streaming Show BIG EAST Shootaround
Program produced from the the conference’s New York City offices with an arsenal of new gear
In the Big East Conference, there’s no offseason for men’s basketball. Now the conference office has launched a digital show that reflects the 24/7/365 lifestyle that is Big East Hoops. Last Thursday, the conference debuted BIG EAST Shootaround, a weekly show that will be streamed live to Facebook Live, Periscope, and Fox Sports Go.
The show is produced from conference offices in New York City and is designed to get the conversation started around Big East basketball year-round.
“We have a great tradition in college men’s basketball, and we felt that we wanted to lead the conversation,” says Big East Chief Marketing Officer Ann Crandall. “It’s our number-one sport, and we are going to give everything that we can to it. Anything that shows that we’re a premier conference is important to us, and that’s a major driver for wanting to do it live. If we are going to do this, we’re going to do it the best that we possibly can.”
For the production, which is spearheaded by Director of Digital and Social Content Brad Zak, the conference has freshened up on gear, investing in a new Newtek Tricaster TC1 (which will be used for both switching and encoding), a Sony FS-5 4K-capable camera, and a pair of Panasonic AW-HE130 HD robotic cameras to help produce the show.
Programming will be built around longform interviews with coaches and players (the debut episode last week featured a conversation with Seton Hall seniors Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington, and Ismael Sanogo). Other blocks of the show will feature social-media–centric trips around the conference, showing viral clips or popular pieces of content from around the league (some of which will be pulled from content produced by the schools themselves), and interactive games with the audience and featured guests.
The show airs weekly on Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET with the live element a critical part of the content team’s plans.
“If we’re going to stream this on social media, live felt important to us,” says Rick Gentile, senior associate commissioner, broadcasting, Big East. “To be able to say that this is a live show and it’s going to be up-to-date news, it just felt like the way to go.”
Big East execs say that the idea for the program was also driven by the conference’s coaches, who are excited about a platform promising exposure for their programs outside the traditional basketball schedule. The conference’s digital-media team was happy to oblige and hopes that the program becomes a major part of the league’s content plans leading all the way up to and through March Madness.
“We’d like to see this create a buzz,” notes Gentile. “We’d also, obviously, like to see the amount of viewers on all of the various platforms rise as we go along. We’d really like to hear from our schools, our coaches, our kids that they like the show and they enjoy watching it. That’ll be a win for us.”