St. Cloud State’s Husky Productions To Produce Live Games for Fox Sports North PLUS
The students at St. Cloud State University are getting the call-up to the big leagues.
Fox Sports North has agreed to televise the first-round matchup between St. Cloud State and Miami University in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Men’s Hockey Tournament this weekend on Fox Sports North PLUS, with all the games produced completely by student talent at SCSU’s Husky Productions.
The best-of-three series begins tonight (7:30 p.m. CT), and the television product will look just like a normal FSN PLUS hockey broadcast with FSN graphics and transitions, but it will be produced directly from St. Cloud State’s new state-of-the art sports-production facility.
A total of 11 cameras will be deployed throughout the arena, including five Grass Valley LDXs operated by students. The crew in the production center on campus will work from recently installed professional-level production equipment.
The university invested an estimated $4.8 million in technology upgrades to boost Husky Productions’ television-production capabilities as well to fiber-link three athletics venues on campus: Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, Husky Stadium, and Halenbeck Hall. The production-control room is outfitted with Grass Valley gear from the Karrera production switcher to the K2 Dyno replay system. Graphics are run off the ChyronHego Mosaic, which allows Husky Productions to import and use all of Fox Sports North’s graphics and branding.
“The quality of gear that they’ve purchased and the amount of money they have invested in this television and sports medium is second to none,” says Brian Stanley, executive producer of Husky Productions and co-owner of mobile-satellite-transmissions company ARCTEK. “Over the next two to five years, this program is just going to explode because of the quality of gear they have purchased.”
A total of 24 students will work the broadcasts this weekend, a group accustomed to creating top-notch sports productions. Husky Productions is the reigning champ in the Live Game and Event Production in the Collegiate Student division at the SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Awards, and, last month, Alex Clysdale, Nicki Cunningham, and Mitch McDermott were awarded first place in TV Sports Event Production in the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.
“People talk about this generation as being a little less motivated than previous generations,” says Stanley, a 1993 graduate of St. Cloud State, “but it’s been refreshing to see the amount of dedication our 20-somethings are putting in to Husky Productions and our program.”
Fox Sports North reaches more than 2 million homes throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota and hits national audiences on various satellite television providers. ARCTEK HD is providing the satellite truck and space for these games to assist in promoting the university, Husky Productions, and the school’s men’s hockey program. ARCTEK has five St. Cloud State alums and a Husky Productions alum on its staff.
Says Stanley, “It was the least we could do to help get these games to a national audience.”