By Dylan Manfre
Students affiliated with BroncVision, the streaming service for Rider athletics, had the opportunity to attend the MAAC basketball tournament in Albany, New York from March 7 to 11.
Freshmen film, TV and radio majors Kaylee Ettinger and Sarah Waldron, senior sports management major Matt Gonzalez and sophomore sports media major Austin Boland-Ferguson worked a variety of jobs for the post-season games.
“Going to Albany makes you see how real it is,” Waldron said. “To know what we know how to do for actual TV is insane. We even got a tour of the ESPN truck and their [trailer] is literally the same as our trailer, just $7 million more.”
Waldron and Ettinger agreed that their knowledge of broadcast has vastly expanded because of their experience at BroncVision. It’s gotten to the point where they don’t watch a game the same way a fan would.
The two went to a restaurant on their day off and saw a game on TV. Ettinger, who coordinated the graphics for the productions, was going through the motions as if she were putting the graphics up herself and anticipated which graphic would come next.
For Gonzalez, going to Albany was a “no-brainer.” In addition to being the “Dunkin’ Cup” in the MAAC mascot basketball game, he loved seeing how other schools ran the show.
“It was interesting to see how other schools interacted with the equipment and how they conducted themselves during the broadcasts,” Gonzalez said. “It was also great networking with a few of the MAAC professionals.”
The students didn’t just work with Rider’s games in the tournament, nor were they with their colleagues the entire time. Waldron worked with a handful of students from Iona University.
Chris Foster, assistant athletic director for digital and new media, said that the collaboration with other students working the broadcasts was immensely beneficial.
“The biggest benefit for the students and their experience up at the MAAC tournament in Albany was getting to know other students who were up there from other schools that have similar experiences that they do,” he said. “There were some incredible talents up there from other schools. Everyone brought something great to the table.”
The MAAC’s 11 affiliated schools are contractually obligated with ESPN to produce live broadcasts on ESPN3 and ESPN+. Following Rider’s first year operating its production truck, Manhattan College has secured its own truck and will start making content in the 2019-20 academic year.
“I think you’re seeing schools go the direction that Rider did and give students the experience on equipment that they’re going to use in future positions in media,” Foster said. “I think it’s a testament to the step Rider was willing to take in doing that.”
Students can watch Rider athletics’ games for free on ESPN3 or create an ESPN+ membership for $4.99 per month.
Published in the 3/27/19 edition.