Gamecocks gear up for launch of SEC Network

usc-secnetworkThe clock is ticking down for the launch of the SEC Network, and South Carolina is ready to maximize its opportunities for national exposure.

After investing in technology, equipment and personnel, South Carolina aims to broadcast all home events for most of its varsity sports in year one of the network.

“This is the inaugural launch of a new network,” says Mark Slice, South Carolina’s Associate Director of Live Productions and Engineering. “We want to be a driving force within that network.”

The SEC Network officially launches on August 14. The Gamecocks will host Texas A&M at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 28 to kick-off the network’s live sports programming and the 2014 football season.

The network is a collaboration between the conference and ESPN which will provide SEC content 24/7, and will include all 21 of the league’s sports. Overall, the SEC Network will air more than 1,000 live events.

“Our goal is to have every home event in those sports produced for our fans to watch, whether it’s by ESPN or us,” said Charles Bloom, Senior Associate Athletics Director. “When you talk about 1,000 events, you’re talking about 450 live events on the linear channel, which is the channel you get on your TV at home. A minimum of 550 events will be on the digital channel, which is the web site. All of the digital events will be produced by the institutions.”

The network guarantees a minimum of 40 events per school to be broadcast on the digital side via the SEC Network web site. South Carolina wants to do more. A lot more.

South Carolina will produce approximately 120 live broadcasts for home games of men and women’s soccer, volleyball, men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and sand volleyball, in addition to what is produced by the SEC Network and other television networks.

This means it’s up to the university to produce and staff a network quality broadcast.

“We have made a goal here to produce as many events as possible,” Bloom says. “Our goal is to have every home event in those sports produced for our fans to watch, whether it’s by ESPN or us. We feel that this would put South Carolina on the higher end of the number of events that schools will produce for the SEC Network.”

Gone are the days of live video streaming of Gamecock home events on South Carolina’s web site through a single camera. However, fans watching the locally produced events on the SEC Network’s digital platform will enjoy a better broadcast experience.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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