IUS Sports Network goes viral with live feed

IUS Horizon

Grenadier sports fans now have another reason to cheer.

The IUS Athletics Department has launched an online network, which allows fans to stream live games.

The Grenadier Sports Network is the brainchild of Joe Glover, athletic director, and Stephen Utz, sports information director.

Glover and Utz said they wanted to find a way to get more people involved in the athletics program.

“We have a lot of families who don’t get to come to the home games during the week nights,” Glover said, “so we thought ‘Why don’t we broadcast the games in a way that allows families to see it, but also allows a lot of our journalism students on campus to have an opportunity to give them something for their résumés?’”

Glover said the Grenadier Sports Network was the way.

The site is run through a Lexington, Ky.-based company called Ihigh. Ihigh was chosen because it allowed the network to be created at no cost to the university.

Students and fans alike can now watch IUS sports teams’ games online for free.

“It’s exciting for us to be able to do this,” Glover said. “It’s something we’ve always wanted to do.”

The Grenadier Sports Network launched on Aug. 12. The first stream, a volleyball match against St. Catherine University, drew in 485 views.

Games can be streamed on any computer as well as iPhones and iPads. They can be watched live or after play.

Glover said this is very helpful to the families of IUS student athletes.

“One of our volleyball player’s grandfather lives in Florida, and he is always logging in and checking it out,” he said. “He was pretty happy that he was able to watch, because he never got to see his granddaughter play.”

The streams are similar to those seen on national broadcasts. The videos display the score, as well as other graphics, during the games.

In fact, some of the broadcasting equipment used is the same as those used by professionals. Glover said the headsets used are the exact type seen on NBC Sports and the NFL Network.

Glover said he is happy with the network’s success so far.

“For starting out this year, I’m very pleased with it,” Glover said. “We’ve had a lot of people watch. We’ve had a lot of good comments from parents.”

Still, the network faces some problems.

Only IUS volleyball and IUS men’s and women’s basketball home games will be covered this year.

Glover said he hopes to see more sports represented in the future but is not able to do so at this time.

“We want to cover them all, but, unfortunately, a lack of people, technology and equipment may prevent us from doing that now,” Glover said.

Glover said there is currently no Internet line available at the tennis courts to allow the streaming of tennis matches. There are also not enough cameras or people to cover the large areas of the softball and baseball fields. There is currently only one camera available.

The network’s launch came as a part of a newly remodeled IUS Athletics website. The Athletics Department updated the look as well as added a new text message feature.

Now students have the opportunity to sign up for text message or e-mail alerts. The students will receive real-time score updates for any IUS sports game.

“We’re looking to grow, get more people involved in the program,” Glover said.

Glover said he hopes more students will become involved with the network. He said he thinks they could be a big help in broadcasting more IUS sports live.

“If we get a lot of students to do this, we can take it as far as we would like to take it,” he said.

IUS students control the camera, provide commentary and work the audio board and video control for the broadcasts.

More student broadcasters and camera controllers are currently needed.

Any interested student can become a part of the program, not just journalism majors.

“We’re hoping students will help drive it, because I think they will really get a lot out of it,” Glover said.

The Grenadier Sports Network can be found by visiting iusathletics.com.

Fans should click on the “Featured Video” tab and then the “Grenadier Sports Network” graphic.

By SAMANTHA FRAZIER

Staff

sefrazie@ius.edu