Raycom Sports Named Recipient of 2019 SVG/NACDA Technology Leadership Award
Veteran media company to be honored at SVG College Summit (May 29-31, Omni Hotel, Atlanta)
The Sports Video Group and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics are pleased to announce that Raycom Sports has been selected as the recipient of the seventh-annual SVG/NACDA Technology Leadership Award. The award will be formally presented on May 30 during the SVG College Summit (May 29-31) in Atlanta.
The SVG/NACDA Technology Award is presented annually to a university athletics department, conference office, or broadcast entity in recognition of excellence in, investment in, and execution of broadcast and video infrastructure and technologies.
For nearly four decades, Raycom Sports defined sports television with the syndication of college sports games to homes across America. Since its early days, the sedulous media company has pushed the envelope on video production making sizable investments in operations to support live and studio programming efforts in college sports. Its pioneering efforts have paved the way for much of what the college sports video production industry has become today.
“This marks the first time that the SVG/NACDA Technology Leadership Award will not be presented to a collegiate athletics department, and this deviation from the norm couldn’t be more apropos,” says Brandon Costa, Director of Digital at Sports Video Group and Program Director of the SVG College Summit. “In today’s media world where athletic departments and conference offices are producing thousands of live events across the entire portfolio of collegiate sports every year, production at scale is the name of the game. Dating back to its earliest days, Raycom Sports and Jefferson-Pilot Communications blazed an untraveled trail in delivering college football and basketball into homes across the country. So much of what the college video production industry is doing today is thanks to the efforts made by Raycom Sports. They forever shaped the popularity of college sports. We feel this is a fitting gesture to show, on behalf of the entire industry, our appreciation for just how much they have meant to all of us.”
This past March, Raycom Sports broadcast its final game with a live production from the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. While the infrastructure and staff of Raycom Sports will continue to support productions for the soon-to-be-launched ESPN-supported ACC Network, it marks an end of a highly-important era as college sports broadcasting under the Raycom Sports banner has ended.
Founded in 1979 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Rick and Dee Ray, Raycom Sports was born under the belief that college sports broadcasting would thrive in the basketball hotbed of the Carolinas. Its programming slate began with the production of games from a preseason men’s basketball tournament called the Great Alaska Shootout and was followed by nonconference ACC contests. When it partnered with Jefferson-Pilot Communications in 1980 and won its first major rights package for the 1982-83 season, that’s when the company took off, becoming a fixture in homes across the southeast.
Before cable sports television began gobbling up distribution rights, Raycom Sports was the home of college sports production. Into the 1990s, Raycom built a vast portfolio of broadcasting rights that included the ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Metro, Big Eight, Big 12, and Southwest conferences. Raycom even sub-licensed ACC games to national broadcasters (like CBS and ESPN), regional sports networks, and local broadcast stations.
Today, it’s almost taken for granted by fans how accessible live broadcasts of almost any collegiate sport is available via either television or streaming platforms. Raycom Sports brought exposure to college sports at a time when it didn’t exist and forever changed the belief in what was possible for college sports on television.
To view the criteria used to select the SVG/NACDA Technology Leadership Award recipients, CLICK HERE.
SVG/NACDA Technology Leadership Award Recipients
2019 – Raycom Sports
2018 – Texas A&M University
2017 – University of Nebraska
2016 – University of Alabama
2015 – Brigham Young University
2014 – University of Oklahoma
2013 – University of Notre Dame