With conference play underway for the nationally renowned Red Storm men’s and women’s basketball teams this winter, the St. John’s Television Network (STJ-TV) and ESPN recently completed an agreement calling for as many as 60 Red Storm sporting events to be carried live in H.D. on ESPN3 in 2012-13.
The agreement brings St. John’s University Athletics events to a national audience of 83 million households via the multi-screen ESPN3 network, which is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, through smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app, and through ESPN on Xbox. By way of providers like Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Verizon, all of New York and much of the Tri-State area now has access to ESPN3 programming, including the exclusive 2012-13 St. John’s broadcast slate.
Sports fans throughout the country that receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated service provider can currently catch live Red Storm men’s basketball and women’s basketball games. STJ-TV produced St. John’s Red Storm Tip-Off, STJ Basketball Media Day, the Red Storm men vs. Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 24), NJIT (Dec. 1) and UNC Asheville (Dec. 21), all men’s and women’s basketball exhibition contests and select soccer and volleyball events for ESPN3 in the fall. Plans are in place for a premier slate of St. John’s baseball, softball, lacrosse and fencing productions during the spring of 2013.
When the spring schedule is finalized, St. John’s will have the nation’s most robust agreement between ESPN3 and any one college or university, totaling approximately 60 live events on the network.
“We are excited about STJ-TV, our collaboration with ESPN3, and what this endeavor provides St. John’s University in terms of exposure and a hands-on educational experience for students,” said St. John’s director of athletics Chris Monasch. “This agreement was the culmination of emerging technology, hard work by our staff and an outstanding relationship with ESPN. The 2012-13 broadcast schedule only begins to scratch the surface of what we hope STJ-TV can become.”
“ESPN3 continues to adopt innovative production and distribution practices in an effort to achieve our commitment to provide unmatched quality and availability of thousands of live college events from across the country,” said John Lasker, vice president, Digital Media Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN. “St. John’s shares our innovative spirit and is on the cutting edge with their production capabilities, and we’re looking forward to working with them in this unique collaboration.”
STJ-TV is able to produce four- and five-camera H.D. telecasts with full graphics integration, plus replay, announcers and sponsored features to give sports fans a high-quality viewing experience. Each STJ-TV production is crewed by a 15-person team, a combination of local television professionals and St. John’s undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a video production course at the University.
“We have a video production operation that benefits our entire University,” said Mark Fratto, St. John’s senior associate athletics director for communications. “The St. John's Television Network gives our teams unparalleled exposure on a national platform, and provides undergraduate students a chance to learn and contribute to actual telecasts by experiencing hands-on H.D. sports production.”
STJ-TV games are called by professional announcers, many of whom have longstanding ties to St. John’s University and the New York area. Tony Luftman and former St. John’s backcourt standout Tarik Turner anchor STJ-TV on ESPN3 men’s basketball coverage, while Ralph Bednarczyk and former Marist star Julianne Viani bring fans each women’s basketball home game. National New York-based commentator Brandon Tierney, play-by-play announcer John Brickley, New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola, Dartmouth women’s hoops alumna Samantha Berdinka and Red Storm women’s soccer coach Ian Stone, the 2006 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, are frequent contributors to STJ-TV broadcasts, among others.