How ESPN Expanded its College Athletics Outreach Through Students


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Dallas Desonie, Staff Writer

Over the course of the 19th century, live coverage of sports expanded more than in any other century in history. The introduction of television, and as a result live sporting broadcasts, made it drastically easier for sports fans to follow their favorite teams. Over the second half of the century, major TV outlets like Fox, NBC, ESPN, and ABC hired more and more broadcasters to cover professional games all over the country. Now instead of getting one nationally televised NFL game a week, all games would be televised and fans would see the game that was assessed to their market. 

This change, however, didn’t have a far of reach in the college athletics industry. Up until the last 20 years, if your college team wasn’t one of the major teams, you likely never got to see them play on TV. Now with the rise of streaming, this is beginning to change, and ESPN is using college students to make this happen.

Now instead of sending out television crews all across the country to cover games that the majority of people aren’t interested in, ESPN is now letting communications students at these colleges produce their very own broadcasts, which ESPN televises through their streaming apps. 

This program mutually benefits both sides. ESPN is able to televise countless more games than they were able to before, and college students get valuable experience producing high end sports broadcasts that will help many of them in the career they choose. Just down the road, The University of Central Arkansas participates in this with their very own Purple and Grey Network.

As this expands, many more opportunities will arise for students to hone their production skills, and ESPN will be able to reach even more schools and even other sports.This will undoubtedly provide more experience for up and coming sports broadcasts hopefuls and create an even better viewing experience for the future.