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The Student Section cheers on APSU Football on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. JEFFERY HOOPER | THE ALL STATE

Explaining the OVC and ESPN+ Merger

Recently, Austin Peay Athletics announced that ESPN had acquired the rights to OVC play. Previously, the Athletics and Communications departments had worked with the OVC Digital Network to broadcast all of our sporting events. From this point forward, all Governor Athletic events will be broadcasted on ESPN affiliates such as ESPN+, ESPN 3, and ESPN U. This allows for more viewing options as part of the ESPN umbrella. In a recent phone conversation, Cody Bush, the Director of Athletics Communications, he discussed some of the specifics with the All State News team.

Starting off this fall, the APSU Football team will be the first program shifted over to the new network. While the Volleyball and Women’s Soccer teams will be shifted over gradually to ESPN, all of the spring sports will be turned over to the ESPN platforms as well. For APSU’s notoriety, this can be seen as a good move to hopefully turn Austin Peay into a more well-known name around the Southeast region of the United States. It is important to note that there is a paywall for fans to view APSU athletics. It will cost $4.99 a month to view ESPN+ and can be subscribed through the ESPN app. However, Mr. Bush noted that current ESPN Insider subscribers will also have access.

Speaking about the change that needs to happen for APSU to meet ESPN standards of production, there are a few standards that will need to be met. All APSU productions will have to shift from a single camera broadcast to a multi-camera system, video quality will need to be up from 1080 to 4k. Finally, along with more broadcasted events, there will be a dedicated play-by-play announcer for each game. Sports such as Men’s Basketball and Football already meet these capabilities, but the departments will need to increase these in every sport.

When asked about the manpower needed to meet the increased production roles, Mr. Bush is confident that the Athletics and Comms department can meet that goal. He mentioned of hope in “non-departmental interest” in working behind the scenes with the broadcast teams. Some sources close to this situation have spoken of budget increases although no specifics were discussed in the phone call. Bush spoke highly of the Communications Department and hopes of a “cooperative effort” to “make the most of resources” moving forward with these changes.

This is an ongoing story and the All State will continue to report on the changes being made.

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