SVG College Summit: Inside Year One of The Ivy League’s Migration to ESPN+

Pros from ESPN, Harvard, Cornell, and the conference detail benefits and challenges of the new partnership

With its own subscription-based video platform in place, The Ivy League shifted its media-production and -distribution strategy with a comprehensive agreement to broadcast more than 1,100 live events across more than 35 sports on the new ESPN+ direct-to-consumer platform in 2018-19.

A year into that 10-year relationship, hear from conference and ESPN representatives on the process leading up to launch, the successes and challenges in year one, and the priorities in the long-term plans of the partnership in this panel discussion from the 2019 SVG College Summit.

The conversation features Kevin Copp, assistant executive director, digital content and communications, The Ivy League; Imry Halevi, assistant director of athletics, multimedia and production, Harvard University; John Lukach, director, multimedia and production, Cornell University; and Shawn Murphy, senior coordinating producer, ESPN.

The session was moderated by Kristian Hernandez, assistant editor/social media coordinator, SVG.

Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Copp (The Ivy League) discusses why the deal made sense for the conference and how it has benefited its schools’ fans thus far:

Murphy (ESPN) talks about how ESPN worked with the conference to prepare:

In advance of The Ivy League’s move to ESPN+, Halevi (Harvard) worked closely with ESPN to develop best practices for graphics, transmission, and more:

Although many football and basketball venues were ready to produce dozens of live-streamed games for ESPN+, many other facilities on campuses across the conference were not. Lukach (Cornell) discussed how schools brought smaller venues up the level needed for live streaming:

With one season of streaming to ESPN+ under its belt, The Ivy League and ESPN are continuing to look for ways to improve production quality for the next academic year. Murphy (ESPN) and Copp (The Ivy League) discuss how ESPN+ brings new fans to Ivy League athletics and what’s coming next year:

Having the ESPN brand behind the conference has given athletic departments in The Ivy League a leg up in recruiting student athletes. As a result, Halevi (Harvard) and Lukach (Cornell) have seen more buy-in and cooperation by coaches and athletics programs in their productions:

The Ivy League’s multimedia partnership with ESPN is through just one year of a 10-year deal. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, for all involved. Copp (The Ivy League), Halevi (Harvard), Lukach (Cornell), and Murphy (ESPN) share how they are looking to improve in year two of the production and distribution partnership:

Watch the panel conversation in its entirety:

For other video recaps, interviews, and more from the SVG College Summit, visit SVG On Demand and

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