Backbone Strengthens IBS Network, Delivers College Sports to iPhone, iPod Touch

By Ken Kerschbaumer

For many college students, an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch is standard issue and as indispensible as a backpack and a meal card. And now those students, and others who rely on the two Apple products, will be able to keep track of their favorite college teams, thanks to a free college-radio tuner developed by Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) and Backbone technology.

“Any school that broadcasts on the IBS Student Radio Network will be added to the list in the College Radio Tuner,” says Richard Cerny, president of Backbone Networks and Telecast Fiber. “It’s a very inexpensive way for schools to get a mobile platform for all their radio, including sports and music.”

IBS, a non-profit association of mostly student-staffed radio stations, has more than 1,000 member stations operating across a variety of platforms: FCC-licensed FM and AM, cable radio, Webcasting, even closed circuit. Backbone offers central-server software to host the content. “A station starts at only $2,700 for a full year,” says Cerny, “and IBS covers all the music royalties for them.”

Sports, he adds, are a big part of many of the offerings from the radio stations. “Some, like Goucher College in Baltimore, use a Macbook Pro and mixer/mic to originate and stream live play-by-play basketball during [away games],” Cerny explains. “Others will feed a simulcast of the big game through Backbone Radio so they can have a mobile radio platform for their sports fans.”

An important new addition to the IBS roster is the University of Connecticut. Says Cerny, “They will be streaming sports to the iPhone and Touch though the IBS network.”

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