For the first time ever, Ball State Sports Link’s production of men’s basketball vs. Eastern Michigan Feb. 21 will be available to DIRECTV subscribers through a new partnership with ESPN.
This week marked the complete nationwide rollout of the ESPN App on AT&T DIRECTV set top boxes, allowing customers to seamlessly switch between all ESPN live and on-demand video to their TVs through a hybrid interface. It is the first time ESPN has made this app-like service combining both linear and streaming content available on set top boxes.
The announcement means Sports Link student productions on ESPN3 will now be available to an additional estimated 25 million-plus subscribers through DIRECTV.
In addition to ESPN’s linear networks, DIRECTV customers with a broadband-enabled set top box will now be able to stream thousands of live events from ESPN3, SEC Network + and ACC Network Extra plus short-form, on-demand clips and highlights from ESPN.com. Customers will not need to log in to access this content, as they will be automatically authenticated.
“Fans want to turn on their television and watch great sports content with as little friction as possible,” said Mike Andrews, ESPN’s Vice President of media engineering. “With the ESPN App on the DirecTV box, they get exactly that – a dynamic user interface, seamless automatic subscriber recognition, and all of ESPN’s networks and streaming content presented in one place, all without the need to change television inputs or log in.”
The Mid-American Conference’s 2014 agreement with ESPN established school-produced productions throughout the league. MAC member institutions, with the assistance of ESPN and students at their universities, generate broadcast coverage of their respective teams for carriage on the ESPN3 platform. This opened up nearly 92 million households to exposure of MAC athletics for the first time in conference history.
Already in 2016-17, more than 50 Ball State athletics events have been, or will be, carried on ESPN3 this academic season, ranging from football and basketball games to swimming, gymnastics, National Signing Day, The Chirpies and more.
Digital Sports Production offers skills and applications using digital technology to create sports content for distribution across multiple platforms. Emphasis is given to live event production to ESPN platforms and storytelling.