Marist Basketball on ESPN3

Poughkeepsie, NY — With November coming to a close the college basketball season is in full swing. The Marist men’s and women’s basketball teams each have three games under their belts as the calendar approaches Thanksgiving, but there is something different going on behind the scenes this season.
Marist Athletics announced earlier this year that they have partnered with ESPN3, and all home basketball games will be live streamed on the WatchESPN App. ESPN 3 is currently available to approximately 70 million homes and 21 million U.S. college students via computers connected to on-campus educational networks at no additional cost to fans. This app can be accessed from mobile devices, gaming consoles, and smart televisions.
This is not the first time that Marist has paired with ESPN to produce a college basketball game. In 2013, Marist broadcasted a couple of their home games at the end of the season as a part of a “pilot program” to see whether schools could successfully broadcast games on ESPN3 in the future.
In February of 2014 The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) announced that it would have its own branded channel through the WatchESPN app. “Providing MAAC content through multiple outlets was envisioned when the MAAC and ESPN extendedScreen Shot 2017-11-21 at 10.24.59 AM their broadcast agreement in 2011 through 2016 and it is great to see the rollout of this service to MAAC sports fans,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor told ESPN. Then the MAAC mandated last year that all members of the conference begin streaming on ESPN3 by the start of the 2018-2019 season, which is next season.
Marist Athletics decided to get the ball rolling early and start streaming this season. They set money aside in the budget to purchase all the necessary equipment to create a high quality live stream that fans can view from the comfort of their home. They even promoted Meghan Graham from Multimedia Coordinator, to the newly-created position of Director of Athletic Media.
As the Director of Athletic Media, Graham oversees all the Marist Athletics social media pages, but more importantly oversees the ESPN3 broadcast. “The broadcast crew for the games is usually going to be about 12 to 15 people. We have five people on the different cameras that are station throughout the arena, so we have multiple angles for the stream. We have three people on the video board, three people on the audio board, and then three people working the graphics.” said Graham. “Then I am there to help the staff out with technical difficulties they may experience during the game or any questions they may have.” ESPN also provides a producer for the show, that will help keep the broadcast running in accordance with ESPN’s rules and regulations.
The best part about this new program is that the crew is made up of all Marist students. “Yes, the crew is made up of all students and is open to all students, no matter their major. This program really presents a great opportunity to get experience, if you are looking to get into the broadcast side of sports. Some of the students are doing it for college credits and some are even getting paid. It really is something that looks great on a résumé when you are looking for a job in a few years.” The only part of the broadcast that is not provided by the students is the commentary. For the men’s games Geoff Brault will be on play-by play, Steve Eggink on color commentary, and Ed Weir as the sideline reporter. For the women’s games Dean Darling will be on the play-by play and Steve Eggink will be doing the color commentary.
The students are trained by Graham on how to operate all of the equipment needed to broadcast the games. There have already been two training sessions that were held earlier in November, but their will be more scheduled if people show interest in the program. Marist senior Billy Floyd said, “I went to one of the training sessions earlier this month and it was extremely informative. I got to see the studio where the games are produced and learned how to operate a lot of the cool equipment that was in there. I did not get a chance to work an actual game yet because I am limited on time this semester, but I think it is a great opportunity if you are looking to get into the broadcast side of sports.”
This program represents a great hands on learning experience for students, that can give them an edge on the competition when looking for a job. The students that participate in this program can either do it for college credit or get paid. Marist senior Nick CavannaScreen Shot 2017-11-21 at 11.23.02 AM said, “I operate the instant replay and slow motion for the games. I am doing this as an internship because I need credits in an internship to fulfill my requirements for graduation. Not to mention that something like this looks really good on my résumé.”
Marist sophomore Paige Krikorian said, “I am only a sophomore so I cannot do this for credit yet, but it is still a great experience. I operated the camera for the women’s volleyball team this season. Now that the volleyball season is over I thought it would be another good opportunity to get involved with the basketball team. At this point anything I can add to my résumé really helps.”
The men’s and women’s basketball teams are slated to play a combined 27 home games this season, and Graham said that Marist is looking into getting live streams going for spring sports. So, there is a lot of opportunities to get involved, either now or in the spring. If you would like to participate in the broadcasting of any of the games, contact Meghan Graham via email or phone to find out more information.

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