Southeastern Channel baseball broadcast named national award finalist
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
by: Tonya Lowentritt
GAME WINNING BROADCAST - The Southeastern Channel’s live broadcast of the March 25, 2022, baseball game between Southeastern and Nicholls State, which streamed live on ESPN+, has been honored as a national finalist by the College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta, Ga. The broadcast was selected in the Collegiate Student division of the “Live Game Broadcast” category. It was the fifth time that the Southeastern Channel has been honored by the College Sports Media Awards, which chooses the best in college sports television and video production throughout the country.
HAMMOND – A Southeastern Channel student-produced baseball broadcast has won
The channel broadcast of the March 25, 2022, Southeastern vs. Nicholls State baseball game for live streaming on ESPN+ was named a national finalist for the College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta. The production was honored in the “Collegiate Student” division for “Outstanding Live Game Production.”
It’s the fifth time that the Southeastern Channel has won CSMA national finalist recognition and the second time that it’s won for a live game broadcast. In 2020 the Southeastern Channel’s live football game broadcast between Southeastern and Incarnate Word was honored. The previous three years the channel won for its weekly student sportscast “The Big Game” in the “Outstanding Live Non-Game Production” category.
“To have a live game broadcast named one of the best in the nation against all of the top schools from across the country is truly an accomplishment and a wonderful honor,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “Our production was the only one that had an entirely student crew-from announcers to director and camera operators. I couldn’t be prouder of our students.”
The CSMAs, which honor the best in the nation in collegiate sports broadcast production, were presented by the Sports Video Group and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Finalists in the “National Network” division this year included ESPN, Fox Sports, the Big Ten Network, and the Pac-12 Network.
The Southeastern Channel’s live baseball game broadcast featured Chase Gispert of Mandeville on play-by-play and Jerome Kelly of Shreveport as the color analyst. Mackenzie Fletcher of Covington was the sideline reporter.
The director/technical director was Taylor Nettle of Lacombe. Other student crew members included Ross Chauvin of Houma on instant replay, Asante Jackson of Baton Rouge on video playback, Ian Nicoll of Covington on graphics, and Chris Arroyo of Slidell and Alexis Genovese of Husser on audio.
Alissa Kellis of Mandeville, Carson Fryou of Ponchatoula, Tristyn Turner of Denham Springs, Faith Farris of Slidell and Dathan Sanders of Baton Rouge were the camera operators, while Eric Brignac of Luling and Seth Schembre of Ponchatoula were camera grips. Halle Jefferson and Lauryn Jackson of Baton Rouge were production assistants.
Settoon said that it’s a rarity for an all-student crew, including announcers, to broadcast Division One collegiate sports contests and also gain approval by ESPN for streaming on ESPN+.
“ESPN told us that the quality of our game broadcasts was the best they’ve seen in the country for an entirely student production,” Settoon said. “They said we easily live up to the professional quality standards and specifications required by ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.”
Settoon said that in addition to live game broadcasts of all Southeastern sports, students can work on Southeastern Channel sports productions like the live weekly sportscast “The Big Game,” modeled after ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and recognized as best in the nation by College Broadcasters, Inc. In addition, students host and produce a bi-weekly coach’s talk show “Lion Tracks,” which includes coaches from all Southeastern sports. They also produce sports documentaries, promotional spots and programs, and game hype videos for social media.
“We offer students opportunities in television sports broadcasting like no other university,” Settoon said. “We’re attracting students in sports broadcasting from throughout the state and South, and we have a brand new academic degree program in sports broadcasting that is the only one of its kind in the southern region between Texas and Florida.”
The program is a new concentration in Sports Communication in the Communication bachelor’s degree program housed in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, including courses for both live Southeastern game broadcasts for ESPN and for the “Big Game” live weekly sportscast. This past year Southeastern Channel students produced 20 game broadcasts that streamed live on ESPN+, including football, soccer, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, and softball games.
The Southeastern Channel produced and streamed the 2022 Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament Championship for ESPN+.
Settoon said that former Southeastern Channel sportscasters have landed jobs at sports networks and large TV markets from New Orleans to San Francisco and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as play-by-play announcers, color analysts, sideline reporters and sports directors, and anchors and reporters for television stations. The most recent is Nettle, who’s been hired as a sports reporter for KTAL-TV, Ch. 6 (NBC) in Shreveport, La.
In its 20 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 500 national, international and regional awards, including 23 awards from the Emmys. The Southeastern Channel can be seen on Spectrum Cable 199 in Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany and St. Helena parishes and on mthermonwebtv.com for viewers in Washington Parish. In addition, the live 24-7 broadcast can be seen on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, the Spectrum app, and the channel’s website at thesoutheasternchannel.com, which also offers programs via video on demand. The Southeastern Channel is also available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.