The broadcasting of many University of Miami sporting events is now being put into the hands of students, and they’re up for the challenge.
Last Sunday’s women’s soccer game marked the first time that a UM home game was produced entirely by UM students and streamed on ACC Select.
ACC Select is a subscription-based Internet television service hosted by CBS College Sports that broadcasts over 600 ACC sporting events per year.
The online channel focuses its attention primarily on non-televised sporting events such as women’s soccer, swimming and diving, women’s volleyball, track and field and women’s basketball. A select amount of men’s basketball and baseball games will also be in the mix of games broadcast by students.
ACC Select saw commencement at the University of Miami when the channel struck a deal with UM Athletics and the School of Communication in August. As part of the deal, Miami students will program and produce twenty-five home games that will be broadcast by ACC Select.
“I think this is going to be a great opportunity for students to do more field production, instead of just doing studio work,” said Craig Weierman, a broadcast engineer at the School of Communication. “These games will broaden their horizons into full-fledged field productions.”
Not only will those involved in the programming gain experience, but the school’s student-run television station also figures to benefit significantly.
In broadcasting games for ACC Select, the School of Communication is being allotted money that will be used for shows on University of Miami Television (UMTV).
Rory Lincoln, an executive producer of UMTV’s Sportsdesk, is excited about the possibilities ACC Select brings to students.
“This is huge in getting money for UMTV,” Lincoln said. “As someone that’s gone to many UMTV executive board meetings, something that always comes up is budget. Executive producers no longer have that excuse. This is going to be big for any program that is looking for more spending money to improve their show.”
A crew of eight students kicked off this inaugural production last Sunday at Cobb Stadium, with each taking a role in the live broadcasting. The various positions included a production assistant, a director, a technical director, three camera operators and two announcers.
“Since it was the first time we were doing this we didn’t know what to expect, but it went really well,” said senior Jacquie Franciulli, the color analyst for the broadcast. “It took us a little bit of time to get used to everything, but once we did, it was smooth sailing from there on.”
These students’ hard work will not go unnoticed. As many as 1,000 people watch ACC Select broadcasts, while a minimum of close to 100 subscribers view each game.
Students seem excited about the opportunities this new deal brings, in preparation for similar jobs when they graduate.
“I really don’t think you can get much better experience as far as production goes,” Lincoln said.
“This opens up a lot of doors for students,” Franciulli said. “You can’t have more experience than doing a live game. There’s no substitute for it.”
This deal looks to be a win-win for everyone involved. The students involved in the production and broadcasting get valuable hands-on experience and Miami students and fans now have a way of watching UM sports that would not otherwise be broadcast.
For more information about ACC Select, go to www.accselect.com.