Rider Athletics producing first ESPN broadcast

Students training on the state-of-the-art television equipment inside of Rider Athletics’ ESPN production truck.

By Rob Rose

Fans of Rider Athletics are in for a treat. 

Entering the second of an eight-year agreement with ESPN to broadcast games on the network’s ESPN3 and ESPN+ platforms, Rider, in part with the MAAC, will begin producing its own content on ESPN this fall. 

“From an awareness perspective, these broadcasts will help us get the Rider University and Rider Athletics brand out in the public eye on a much larger scale and exposure such as this has the potential to reap long-term benefits,” said Karin Torchia, senior associate athletic director for external operations and development. 

Games broadcast on ESPN3 are available to be streamed online at WatchESPN.com or through the ESPN app. Fans can watch the Broncs play on ESPN3 by logging into their affiliated service provider on the ESPN website. ESPN3 is available for free to college students on computers connected to on-campus educational networks.

ESPN+ offers thousands of live events and on-demand content not available on ESPN’s networks. A subscription to ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year. ESPN+ can be found on ESPN.com and through the ESPN app. 

Seventy-eight MAAC fall sports contests will stream on the ESPN platforms this fall, an increase from 53 last year. Of the 78 fall events, there will be 32 volleyball games, 21 men’s soccer games, 20 women’s soccer games and five field hockey games. A number of MAAC championships will be broadcast on ESPN networks in October and November as well as the regular season games.

Rider teams will have 18 games broadcast on ESPN platforms this fall, 12 at home and six on the road. 

The men’s soccer games broadcast on ESPN platforms are Sept. 5 vs. Temple, Sept. 19 vs. Princeton, Oct. 13 vs. Fairfield and Oct. 31 at Canisius. Women’s soccer will play five games broadcast on ESPN platforms including Sept. 6 vs. Princeton, Sept. 9 at Columbia, Sept. 16 vs. Monmouth, Oct. 3 at Iona and Oct. 10 vs. Manhattan. Volleyball is tied for the most ESPN games this fall with five, including Sept. 15 vs. Quinnipiac, Sept. 23 at Canisius, Oct. 6 vs. St. Peter’s, Oct. 27 at Marist and Nov. 4 vs. Iona. Field Hockey has four games on ESPN this fall, Sept. 9 at Cornell, Sept. 16 vs. St. Francis, Sept. 23 vs. Villanova and Sept. 28 vs. Monmouth. 

Rider is one of six MAAC schools, including Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Marist and Monmouth, that will be producing content this year. This academic year, the MAAC plans to broadcast more than 400 events on ESPN platforms. By the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, all 11 MAAC schools will have their own production facilities and the conference anticipates nearly 500 events annually. 

To produce these broadcasts, the university will require a 13-15 member crew, of which a number of positions will be filled by students. Students will play a key role in pregame, halftime and postgame content. In addition to gaining valuable experience, students will be able to earn Engaged Learning points for working on a broadcast crew. 

“Students are able to get their hands on industry-standard television production equipment and directly contribute to our live ESPN broadcasts,” said Chris Foster, assistant athletic director for digital and new media. “In the case of the Sports Media or Digital Media students, they can take the theories and practices they have learned in the classroom and apply them directly to the real world. At the end of the day, not only can students say they were integral parts of a live-television production, but also that their finished product was part of ESPN’s worldwide network of sports entertainment.”

Students interested in applying for a position in the broadcast crews can reach Chris Foster at fosterc@rider.edu

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