Annual Wrap for Mount ESPN Program
With the move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2022, Mount Saint Mary’s University signed a deal with ESPN to be the official streaming destination for Mount Athletics. Sheldon Shealer, Lecture in the Communication Department, and David Haag, Coordinator of Live Productions, were set to task with building the program from scratch.
This included new camera set ups for the Mount’s different athletic venues, a new video productions studio located in McGowan Hall and, most importantly, a student body willing to run the whole thing. But a year after the deal went into full force, where does ESPN stand at the Mount?
It starts with the ESPN practicum class that lays the groundwork for the staffing of the games. Along with interns hired by the production side of the system, these practicum students plan out game operations for streams, operate cameras during games and matches as well as help operate the production studio during events. The students helped spearhead streams of almost 70 games and matches across all Mount sports last year on both ESPN and Sidearm, another streaming service the Mount uses.
“In the practicum piece, students can earn one to two credits per semester; for one practicum credit, you are giving us about 40 work hours,” Shealer said. “That means you’ll probably be in part of our production team for somewhere between eight to 10, maybe as many as 12 games,” he added.
This brings up the dedication to learning how video production plays a key role in delivering a good product to fans of Mount athletics. Students can always volunteer with ESPN, but the real opportunities and jobs lie in the practicum where you can experience every aspect of the production itself.
Compared to this time last year, there are some differences. At this time in 2022, there were zero interns in the production room and zero students in the practicum class. This caused the first ESPN stream at the Mount, which was a soccer game, to be held in October instead of the beginning of the academic year.
“We hit the ground running in 2023,” Shealer said with confidence. Instead of the small numbers that they eventually got once ESPN went live at the start of the 2023 year, the practicum now has 13 students to start with. Hopefully, more students are on the way. The numbers are much better, but Shealer’s concern is that those numbers need to be a bit larger for the spring.
Soccer is the only worry for on-campus streaming, but with spring comes a more packed schedule with the addition of basketball, baseball, lacrosse, softball and women’s water polo.
More sports will necessarily guarantee more students to help run both the in the field aspect and the production side of the studio. But with an established crew and a lot of experience from last year, ESPN will only grow.
Mount ESPN studio
Photo by: Tyler Kraft