Starting in the fall, Penn will be rolling out a feature that allows viewers to stream sports games across the Ivy League.
Penn is certainly not new to the live-streaming game. For many years, sports watchers have been able to purchase access to home games on the Penn Sports Network which provides streaming of Penn sports games at a high quality.
In addition, due to the connection between Penn and Princeton’s streaming provider Neulion, Penn fans could watch a game at the Tigers’ Jadwin Gymnasium. Now, they will be able to watch games league-wide.
Athletics Director Steve Bilsky described Penn’s current package as setting the standard for the league-wide pass.
“We have the highest quality video,” he said, “We have replays, we have graphics, we have what I would consider quality announcers doing the game. So that’s kind of the standard.”
Bilsky notes that the standardization of streaming as high quality as Penn’s may not be immediate, citing high production costs that other schools may not be able to reach right away.
He described the expansion as a logical step.
“If Harvard is playing somebody in basketball and it’s for all the marbles, you would think a Penn fan might want to be part of that subscription … I think it’s a tremendous product.”
Students can buy the new packages for about the same price as the current ones.
“Whether or not you think it’s a good price or a bad price, you’ve been getting a lot of the product,” Bilsky said. “I think this will take off over time if we can deliver on the product.”
Bilsky also notes that streaming of sports games is an investment, as the money used to buy these passes is funneled back into their production.
“Every year, we’re [using the money to] buy a new camera, or whatever else makes sense to improve the product,” he said.
The packages are expected to be useful not only to current Penn students, but also to alumni and others invested in the outcome of Penn and other Ivy League sports games.
Purchasers will be able to benefit from the new packages whether they are a recruit, parent of a current student or prospective student.
“That’s a market you can tap into that you know you already have as an audience,” Bilsky said.
Furthermore, the streams will allow those to keep track of Penn sports no matter regardless of where they live.
Students will be able to watch games whether they are at school, at home or studying abroad, whether on their televisions, tablets or laptops.
For Bilsky, the new venture’s accessibility makes it “the most important initiative we’ve done in the league in decades.”Comments powered by Disqus
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