July 22, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. - The Southern Conference will launch the SoCon Digital Network, a free streaming service available live and on demand, in late August, Commissioner John Iamarino announced Tuesday. As a member of the conference, Western Carolina along with the nine other institutions will produce events that can be seen on the network.
"The creation of the SoCon Digital Network is a milestone for this conference," Iamarino said. "This has long been one of our primary goals to enhance the value our institutions and their student-athletes receive from being affiliated with the Southern Conference."
The SoCon Digital Network will enable fans to watch their favorite teams at home and on the road in league play in high definition (HD). The content will be accessible through the SoCon member schools' websites, as well as through the conference's official site, SoConSports.com.
All told, the Southern Conference has purchased more than $2 million worth of video and audio equipment for its member institutions to bring them all up to the SoCon Digital Network's broadcast standards.
Events will be shot from multiple camera angles and will incorporate audio through a combination of radio feeds and dedicated announcers. The network will feature live broadcasts of games not selected for carriage on national or regional outlets, as well as highlight packages, coaches' shows, student-athlete features and more.
The content will be adaptive to a variety of mobile devices, including smartphones, iPad and Android tablets, and laptops and PCs. Viewer features will include the ability to watch four events at once, picture-in-picture, and DVR rewind, pause and fast-forward controls. The network will also utilize consistent graphics and will feature replays.
Initially, the network will feature football, volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball but gradually will add events from other team sports, including men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, men's lacrosse and wrestling.
"The enthusiasm and spirit of cooperation we've received from our 10 members has been the driving force behind bringing this concept to reality," Iamarino said. "We know that the exposure and brand awareness this network will bring us will be extremely beneficial to all our alumni, families and supporters."
Last week, the league also announced an agreement with the newly formed American Sports Network, which will broadcast league games on Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates throughout the Southeast. The league will also have games that can be seen on ESPN3.
Western Carolina plans on debuting some of its new video streaming initiatives in mid-August with a pair of exhibition women's soccer matches at the Catamount Athletic Complex. WCU hosts Winthrop on Aug. 13 at 6:00 pm before entertaining mountain-rival UNC Asheville at 7:00 pm on Aug. 15.