Alex Young ’17 has discovered his passion—producing live sports events—thanks to the University of Hartford‘s new mobile sports studio. Alex and others are gaining hands-on experience broadcasting Hartford lacrosse games live on ESPN 3. “Because of this training, there are so many places I can go,” Alex says of his employment prospects. “We now know how to work in a live broadcast format. It opens up the floodgates for job opportunities and gives us an edge in the job search process.”
Alex, a communication major from Closter, N.J., is one of 17 students enrolled in communication instructor Al Fong’s TV Sports Production for Live Events, a course offered in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences School of Communication. Aspiring directors, producers, camera operators, and on-air talent are using the same high-tech equipment in the studio on campus that professionals are using in remote sports studios throughout the country.
“My class gives students valuable career placement opportunities,” says Fong, a broadcast professional who spent 25 years with ESPN. “What they learn here they can directly apply to the outside world. The Minnesota Vikings just outfitted their new multi-million dollar facility with a lot of the same equipment we use.”
Ryan Bagdikian ’17, a communication major from East Windsor, Conn., is already doing freelance work and expects to soon be working in a news organization. “I can use the skills I learn here in Minnesota, California, Florida, or anywhere,” he says. “It’s really a universal system.”
Audio engineering majors in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture are also taking the course and working in the mobile studio. “It’s a great program to get hands-on experience, which is usually the hardest thing to do,” Fong says.
The mobile broadcasting studio is a collaboration of University of Hartford Athletics, ESPN, and the America East Conference to create in-house production infrastructures at each of the conferences’ nine schools, significantly increase national coverage for multiple sports on ESPN3, and provide production and broadcast instruction for students on campus. The on-campus studio will also broadcast all home conference basketball games on ESPN3 in the fall.
ESPN3 is accessible on computers, smart-phones, tablets, and streaming devices through WatchESPN. See hartfordhawks.com for the lacrosse team schedule.