At least 35 Northern Illinois University athletic events, including nearly every home men’s and women’s basketball game, will be available to fans across the nation for free on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app in 2014-15.
NIU is one of three MAC institutions selected to be part of the initial season of the league’s ESPN school content production program, an important part of the new 13-year rights agreement between the MAC and the worldwide leader in sports.
A crew made up of NIU Media Services staff and student workers will produce the events, giving the students valuable experience working on the high-quality, ESPN-branded productions.
In addition to men’s and women’s basketball, NIU volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics competitions, as well as major news conferences and more, will be made available to a nationwide audience online via ESPN3. This program does not include football games, which will continue to be produced directly through ESPN.
“This program is going to have many benefits for NIU,” said Sean T. Frazier, associate vice president and director of Athletics.
“Our teams will receive unprecedented exposure, and we’re going to work with the university to feature our campus and our academic programs during the broadcasts. I think NIU fans and alumni around the country will be excited to watch a high-quality stream of our teams, for free, on ESPN3,” Frazier added. “Finally, this program fits right into President Baker’s emphasis on student career success by giving NIU students a chance to work on a production that will meet a set of ESPN standards.”
The schedule of Huskie events to be carried on ESPN3 will be announced in October.
In addition to NIU, Central Michigan and Buffalo are part of the initial year of the program. Three schools will be added each year until every MAC school is participating.
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast (via the WatchESPN app), Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
It is currently available to more than 92 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
The network also is available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
For more information on NIU Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.