Niagara University Outlines Student-Run Productions on ESPN for 2019-2020 Volleyball, Basketball Seasons

Students at Niagara University will now have the unique and enriching opportunity to take part in the university’s first season of school-produced broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks. This season, all volleyball and basketball games played at Niagara will air on ESPN, and students at the university will have a large hand in producing them.

Those majoring in communications, sports management, and related fields will gain practical experience in game day operations with roles as camera operators, technical directors, assistant directors, graphics producers, video and replay operators, and sideline reporters. They will work directly with ESPN staffers who will oversee the broadcasts.

“We’re thrilled to have our students take part in this phenomenal academic and experiential opportunity, which is very much on par with Niagara’s Division I status and in line with the rich academic experience Niagara University delivers to its students,” said Patrick Tutka, Ph.D., assistant professor at Niagara’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Management, which includes a sports management component. “It will also be wonderful for our fans to be able to watch the games on ESPN.”

Equipment for the broadcasts was made possible by the generosity of Bill McKnight, Niagara Class of 1966, president of Automated Petroleum and Energy Co., and his wife, Kathy, who gifted Niagara University Athletics with $1 million. Niagara’s athletic venues are now outfitted with three high-definition LED video boards and a renovated video production studio in the campus’s Dunleavy Hall.

These enhancements will allow students to leverage an immersive, elite learning experience exclusive to top-tier Division I schools. The upgraded facilities will also enable showcasing in-depth play-by-play game details and real-time instant replays – a critical component of the gameday experience at Division I facilities – and the production of high-quality content that meets the standards of major television networks like ESPN.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity for students to be exposed to an environment and tools like those they’ll encounter in their professional careers. Being able to see the fruition of their hard work on a major television network such as ESPN is a priceless bonus,” said Tutka. “The hands-on experience students will gain from this will be invaluable.”

For the fall season, all of NU’s home volleyball games will be broadcasted live on ESPN networks. There will be four ESPN3 productions and five matches will air on ESPN+. The matches are accessible through the ESPN app and on ESPN.com.

The first ESPN broadcast was against crosstown rival Canisius in late September. All Niagara University men’s and women’s basketball home games will also air on the ESPN networks via Niagara student operations. The network schedule will be announced later. ESPN3 works with participating cable and high-speed internet providers and users will be able to access games through their existing cable or internet logins. An ESPN+ subscription can be purchased through the ESPN app or ESPN.com.