February 15, 2011

Lauren Oliva

Watch Valdosta State Events Live Online

VALDOSTA -- The public is invited to view Valdosta State University events, such as football games and musical productions, live from the comfort of their own home computers. The university partnered with VSU Video Productions and U.S. Education TV network to host high definition footage of past and live streaming events online at http://www.useducationtv.com/default.aspx'sid=286 .

Tom Hughes, director of Marketing and Athletic Sales, said the athletic department broadcasts all home football games, the majority of home basketball games, and select volleyball, baseball and softball tournaments. The site allows homebound fans as well as those in other states and countries access to exciting VSU games and other events.

“It gives VSU Athletics an enhanced presence,” Hughs said. “For example, since early July, we have had 13,093 visits to our live webcasts from 50 countries and 49 states. In fact, we have had military personnel in both Iraq and Afghanistan watch events.”

The Department of Music aired its first live webcast, the annual Title Town Jazz Concert, on Feb. 8. Dr. James Shrader, professor and department head of music, said the concert was a trial project; but he expects live streaming to serve as an important marketing and recruiting tool. Shrader said the music department has so far decided to keep coverage to major ensembles and faculty recitals.

“Not only will we stream selected concerts live, but we will also make them available later on an archived site,” Shrader said. “That way, performers can review the concert, folks who missed it can see it, and most importantly, prospective music students can see what we’re about in the music department at VSU.”

The network has various pre-recorded events archived on the Web site, including various athletic events, promotional videos, graduation ceremonies, the president’s “More” program and the David Dean television show. Most events are broadcasted based on the availability of the VSU Video Production crew.

According to Bill Muntz, director of Video Production Services, the archived videos receive 30 to 50 views on a typical day. Live streaming events is not expected to decrease the number of attendees, but actually enhance support for VSU by reaching out to new audiences.

“Our highest number of visits for a football game day was 2,371,” he said. “The highest so far for a basketball game day is 429.”

Although the streaming service is still in its early stages, feedback has been positive thus far.

“We have been told it is one of the best web productions on any level in the nation,” Hughes said. “We receive compliments from our fans and from the fans watching from other schools.”

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