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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Athletic department expands online play-by-play

by Wayne Boykin II

With a change in broadcasting companies, the athletic department has a completely new look online and the ability to have live streams and play-by-play announcing of Cougar sports. The athletic department changed providers from All-In-Broadcasting to Stretch Internet.

“With this change we have better video and sound,” said Assistant Director of Athletics, Cindy Fotti. This means fans, family and friends can watch all the games held in the Southwell Complex online and listen to all home games held both inside the arena and outside on the fields online. This year, the athletic department will provide play-by-play announcing at almost all of the men’s and women’s basketball games whether at home or away.

Fotti said, “We have such a diverse population of student athletes from different countries and different states, and the parents and families are fans. But they don’t get to come to games all the time. This system gives them the opportunity to see their students play.”

Ola Shawky Nosear, junior volleyball player from Egypt, said that her family uses the Cougar Web page to look at statistics and watch the games. “It’s like they are here, but they’re not here,” said Nosear.

The feedback from online viewing has been very positive. Fotti said, “Cougar fans just love it.” She attributes some success to the colorful commentary they have from announcers like Cosmo from the Y107 radio station.

Fotti said another new option this year is a gallery of event photos that can be purchased online.

The improvements made this year may expand in a few years, Fotti said. She predicts that in six years the fans may have the ability to see the Cougars soccer and softball teams online. But for now, fans can only listen to these games. Fotti said once the plans for the new science building are finalized, plans for streaming outdoor sports will progress. The science building may cause the softball field to be moved to make space for the building. Because of this, the athletic department decided to wait on investing in technology for live streaming on outdoor sports.

Photo: Cosmo interviews Columbia College Athletic Director Bob Burchard at the 2008 National Semi-Finals in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Cindy Fotti.

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