Ball State Sports Link, the nation’s first fully immersive digital sports production program, enters a new era this weekend as two of its fully student-produced productions will air nationally for the first time on ESPN3.
Students in the digital sports production track will produce Ball State soccer’s Mid-American Conference opener against Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m. Friday. Connor Onion and former BSU soccer alum Cailey Starck will call the action.
Then Sunday, Sports Link will produce Ball State field hockey’s match against 16th-ranked Iowa. The match is slated for Noon with Mick Tidrow and Noah Reed on the call.
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The network is currently available to more than 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans that receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
In July, Ball State Athletics and ESPN announced the Cardinals will produce live game events that will be delivered nationally on ESPN3. Ball State’s production program, part of the Mid-American Conference’s 13-year agreement with ESPN, will provide exposure for a minimum of 35 sporting events a year exclusively on ESPN3.
“Ball State athletics could not be more excited about our upcoming collaboration with ESPN and the MAC,” Ball State director of athletics Mark Sandy said. “This is the type of coordinated effort that makes college athletics special, and allows us to engage current and future students in a way that directly supports the university’s mission and strategic plan. This will provide exceptional coverage for our student-athletes and athletic families, and also serve as a recruiting tool through increased exposure. This agreement has tremendous potential and we are thrilled to get underway.”