NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Iona College has announced a partnership with ESPN to produce and broadcast its athletics events live on the ESPN3 and WatchESPN platform. Iona will begin producing its men’s and women’s basketball games in February and women’s lacrosse contests in the spring. It plans to expand to additional sports next fall.
“This is great news for our students, our student-athletes, our athletics program and for the entire Iona College community,” said President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “Our teams merit the additional exposure, but just as valuable is the opportunity for students to get hand-on professional broadcast experience at the highest levels. It will complement our academic programs in Mass Communications and our Center for Sports, Entertainment and Media Business.”
“The project provides Iona College with cutting-edge technology to broadcast our athletic events on the ESPN platform,” said Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. “We look forward to expanding our direct relationship with the ESPN brand through the longstanding partnership between the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the ‘The Worldwide Leader in Sports’.”
“The continued growth of the MAAC ESPN3 School Production facilities is indicative of the strong commitment member schools like Iona College has to their athletic programs and brand identity,” notes MAAC Commissioner Richard Ensor. “I congratulate Iona College and its leadership team for their vision and awareness of how their publics access content on a 24/7 basis through mobile devices, tablets and smart TVs.”
Iona is assembling a portable production and editing studio to support a multi-camera telecast in high definition with state-of-the art equipment from Ross Video, NewTek, Hitachi, Clear-Com among other leading broadcast vendors. The events will be available in more than 100-million homes throughout the United States through the WatchESPN platform.
The broadcasts, which will feature ESPN-branded graphics and full-replay capability, will be hosted by a combination of professionals and College students. Under the direction of Iona College Athletic Communications staff, Iona students will be a key part of the 10-to-15-person crew needed to produce the events. In addition to live coverage, Iona College students will be responsible for pregame, halftime, and postgame content production including feature pieces, commercials, highlight packages and interviews.
The project will be an expansion of the live coverage of Gael sporting events already provided on the online platform, Iona Insider, which is currently in its seventh year of providing Iona athletics webcasts.
The development of these advanced telecast capabilities not only provides a partnership between Iona and ESPN and increased visibility for the College, it also will allow for production of additional campus events outside of athletics. The real-world, experiential-learning opportunities for Iona students will help build credentials for internships and post- and pre-graduate employment.
Iona joins fellow MAAC members Canisius College, Fairfield University, Monmouth University and Siena College in undertaking the ESPN School Productions capability.