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Canisius College announced today it is entering into a new agreement with ESPN, under which its students will produce live Canisius athletic events for ESPN3.  As a result, the college will offer a new program in Sports Broadcast Journalism beginning in the fall 2015 semester and students enrolled in it will staff the Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center.

The four, five and six-camera HD game productions will feature full ESPN-branded graphics, replay and two or three-person broadcast crews. The student productions will be directed by Canisius' athletic communications department. These events will be available to more than 99 million households and by an additional 21 million U.S.-based college students and military personnel.

“This academic and athletic collaboration will provide our students with practical, hands-on learning experiences in live video production, and at the same time, broaden the reach and visibility for Golden Griffin athletics,” said John J. Hurley, president of Canisius College. “Not only is this the addition of an excellent academic program, it is a major step forward in the branding and marketing of the college and our athletics.”

Director of Athletics Bill Maher said, “The opportunity to align the college with ESPN through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s (MAAC) long-standing working relationship with "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" will provide Canisius with a tremendous amount of exposure both athletically and academically.”  

As part of the transition to produce events for ESPN3, Canisius will build a state-of-the-art Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center on the first floor of the college’s Science Hall. The control room will feature top-of-the-line video production and audio equipment and will also serve as a classroom for the students in the Sports Broadcast Journalism class and other video production classes.

“The new Sports Broadcast Journalism program, the agreement with ESPN and the new broadcast facility, positions our Department of Communication Studies through its Journalism program to be a leader in developing the next generation of live sports production professionals,” added Maher.

In addition to live event production, Canisius students will be responsible for pregame, halftime and postgame content production, as well as feature pieces, commercials, in-game and postgame highlight packages, interviews and coaches shows.  

Canisius will be the third member of the MAAC to offer a full slate of home sporting events on ESPN3. Games that are not available on ESPN3 will continue to be shown through the athletic department’s Golden Griffin Broadcast Network at GoGriffs.com.

“The MAAC is excited that Canisius has chosen to take this proposed idea and make it a reality,” said MAAC Commissioner Richard J. Ensor. “By making this move to deliver games on ESPN3, the Canisius Department of Athletics has shown that it has a serious understanding of how sports fans, including alumni and prospective student-athletes, consume media in this day and age. And the fact that the college has taken the steps to include the Communication Studies program to its production efforts further proves that Canisius’ vision will make this effort successful for years to come.”

The build-out and installation of the control room will be handled by Sports Display Systems from Williamsville that has worked on numerous video production systems throughout North America, including creation and installations at First Niagara Center, Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo and the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena.

ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually.  It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  The network is currently available to more than 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
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