ESPN Opens Doors

by John Langley

Assistant Sports Editor

Canisius College and ESPN came to an agreement to broadcast their games through ESPN3 beginning in the 2015-16 sports season, a big step for the school both academically and athletically.

The men’s basketball team found themselves on ESPN3 and ESPNU often with their headliner being Billy Baron, arguably the best player to come through the Koessler Athletic Center in Canisius history. With that big of a name on roster, ESPN flocked to the KAC to get a glimpse of a potential NBA player. Now, they’ll be broadcasting more often, and with the help of the students of the broadcast journalism department.

What does this mean? Does every game get broadcasted on ESPN3? What about the current announcers? Will every sport make their way onto the network? Well, the answer to these questions are fairly simple. The broadcaster will remain the same, but not every sport will have every game air on the network. The men’s basketball team will likely find their games on the network, but a sport like women’s or men’s soccer, it simply isn’t likely. Fair or unfair, that’s just what the viewers want.

The students will be working to broadcast these games as well, an interesting facet that becomes a win-win for both the school and the network. The network doesn’t have to pay the labor costs that go into producing a broadcast while the students learn firsthand and the teams get exposure to a bigger audience.

Many will question why would Canisius choose to do this with such a small department. The journalism program still struggles to fill the classrooms with students. Many don’t view it as a legitimate major on campus. In fact, a lot of students choose communications as their major instead, and they’re smart to do so. In such a competitive market, it is smart to keep their options open.

This connection is yet another draw for the program. The school could become a place where students will want to come to learn this craft on the fly with all the latest tools tools available to the school. Put simply, it is a winning situation.

The students of this program were already helping to produce the broadcast for the men’s basketball team for the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network, and were doing a phenomenal job. Credit has to be given where it is do; these students do a good job, and they will now have the chance to work with the most popular sports network in the world.

Only positives can come from this relationship between the school and ESPN. Maybe not financially, but perhaps more talent will walk through the institution. Perhaps Canisius will become a legitimate spot for journalists and broadcast journalists to make their name.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to try, and the school has taken a big first step towards this objective. Kudos to all of those involved. Here’s to hoping it produces an even brighter future for athletics and academics.


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