Southeastern Channel sportscast named one of nation's best

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 The Big Game wins award
by: Tonya Lowentritt

STUDENT SPORTSCAST HONORED NATIONALLY-  The Southeastern Channel’s student sportscast “The Big Game” was recently honored as one of the top four student sportscasts in the nation at the Ninth Annual College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta, Ga. Shown from left are Southeastern Channel General Manager and Executive Producer Rick Settoon, and “Big Game” sportscasters Dylan Domangue of Houma, John Sartori of Mandeville, Richie Solares of New Orleans, Freddie Rosario of Luling, and Jordan Rheams of Baton Rouge.

     HAMMOND – “The Big Game,” a sportscast that airs on Southeastern Louisiana University’s Southeastern Channel, was named one of the top four student-produced sportscasts in the nation at the ninth annual College Sports Media Awards ceremony in Atlanta, Ga.
     The weekly studio sportscast won national finalist recognition out of 400 entries from across the country in the “Collegiate Student” category for “Outstanding Live Non-Game Production.”
The competition was judged and sponsored by the Sports Video Group (SVG) along with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).  Host for the awards ceremony was ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.
     The Southeastern Channel was the only finalist in any category from any university in Louisiana or the Southland Conference.
     “What a phenomenal honor for our student sportscast to be selected as one of the best in the nation in only our first year of entering this national competition,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “Our students working on the show are talented, creative and dedicated, and they’re very deserving of this recognition.”
     “It’s surreal to have the Big Game named one of the top four student sportscasts in the country,” said student co-producer, anchor and reporter Freddie Rosario of Luling. “When making the show in the week-to-week grind, you never really think about winning an award. You’re just worried about making a great show and creating something that people will want to watch.”
     “It’s prestigious for many reasons,” said John Sartori of Mandeville, the show’s co-producer, anchor and reporter. “We’re a smaller university competing against the largest major universities in the nation. So to be able to put ourselves on the map in this fashion means a lot.”
Settoon created “The Big Game” 15 years ago in the very first year of the Southeastern Channel as his first original student show. He wanted to feed the local viewer passion for sports and provide all of Southeastern athletics with weekly television exposure that it wasn’t getting anywhere else.
     “’The Big Game’ is modeled after ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter,’” Settoon said. “It mirrors the current sports TV industry’s emphasis on entertainment value, as well as sports information. The show offers a greater variety of segments for viewers and opportunities for student sportscasters.  Students need this type of training to enter the current sports television market.”
     Studio anchors deliver unscripted, spontaneous game highlights with personality and fan emotion. They also conduct studio interviews with Southeastern players and coaches, and they offer their opinions on the hottest sports topics and Southeastern teams in a “Pick and Roll” segment fashioned after ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption.”
     The students wrap up each sportscast by delivering sports editorials they’ve written. This year the show will add a fantasy sports segment for the hosts. Students man all crew positions in the studio and control room.
     The show also provides students the opportunity to cover professional sports teams like the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, traveling to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center to interview the pro stars.
     “The training I’ve received at the Southeastern Channel has given me the tools to write and develop a video package about sporting events,” Rosario said. “Getting to go to the games and record from the sidelines and speak to the coaches and players after the game is a great learning experience for what we will be doing in our future careers.”
     “You are immediately thrust into a legitimate operation writing and shooting your own stories, recording your own voiceovers,” Sartori said. “It gives you an idea of what a career in sports broadcasting will be before you go out into the real world.”
     Former anchors and reporters for “The Big Game” have been hired as sportscasters at television stations from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria and Monroe to Gulfport, Ms. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.  They’ve been hired by networks such as ESPN3, Fox Sports, Cox Regional Sports, Southland Conference Sports TV, Sun Belt Conference, Conference USA and the American Sports Network.
     The sportscast won a student Emmy in 2005 and two Emmy nominations in 2011. It has won multiple videographer awards and “Mark of Excellence” awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
     “The Big Game” airs weekly at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays; 12 noon on Fridays; 7 a.m. on Saturdays; and 12 noon on Sundays on the Southeastern Channel on Charter Cable 199. The live stream and archived episodes can be seen at

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