ESPN is giving EMU students a chance to gain valuable experience broadcasting Eastern Michigan’s games. Every year ESPN airs hundreds of live broadcasts of professional and collegiate athletics ranging from NFL football to division II rowing. ESPN can reach millions of viewers each year through its multiple cable channels and online streaming service.
On March 6, hours before the tip-off of the final home game for women’s basketball against Toledo, students are already hard at work at the Convocation Center putting together a broadcast for that night’s game. For the select students who are involved in one of these broadcasts throughout a given semester, their roles can vary depending on the day.
“It’s given me another tool for my skill set,” Jesse Kuczynski said. “It’s something that I can showcase on a resume.”
On this night, Kuczynski is on replay duty in the production truck for the game, while other students work as camera operators or work in the production truck. No one student has a set job and are encouraged to try different roles to expand their knowledge and understanding. These broadcasts are only for home games for the two basketball teams and the football program, which takes up most of the year.
For the students who help put these broadcasts together, it is an invaluable experience.
“I try to take the stuff I do at a professional level and bring it all here,” Erik Beehler, broadcast video technician, said. “I try to make it so that what they do here is how they would expect to deal with a whole day out in a professional live broadcast.”
Beehler is a professional broadcaster who doesn’t just help with the live broadcasts of Eastern Michigan home games but also works on broadcasts for the Detroit Red Wings and the Big Ten Network.
“Everyone here when I first started was more than happy to show me the ropes,” Kuczynski said. “Everyone here is always willing to help someone out.”
At the end of the night, the Eagles would lose 70-67 in double overtime to the Rockets but the night is far from over for the aspiring broadcasters. Once the game is done airing, they put away all the equipment. After that, they leave for the night. That is until the next broadcast. The future of sports broadcasting is being shaped everyday at colleges across the country and that includes the opportunity ESPN provides at EMU.
To get involved, you can contact Associate Athletics Director of Media Relations Greg Steiner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Associate Professor and Electronic Media Advisor Keith Dameron at email@example.com.