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Southeastern ESPN broadcast wins big | News

A Southeastern Channel live football game broadcast for ESPN+ has been honored as fourth best in the nation by the Broadcast Education Association at its annual Festival of Media Arts.

The channel’s live broadcast of the Oct. 30, 2021, Southeastern vs. McNeese State football game was honored with a fourth place 2022 Award of Excellence for “TV Sports Event Production.”

It was the fourth time in the past five years that the Southeastern Channel has been honored by the BEA for producing one of the top four live game broadcasts. This year there were over 1,450 entries from over 300 universities across the country in the competition.

“To have a live game broadcast named fourth 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 student crew takes pride in producing an ESPN-quality broadcast, and they work very hard to prepare and produce a game broadcast that lives up to the standards for ESPN+ viewers.”

“What makes this award even more special is that our winning production was a football broadcast, the most difficult type of game to produce,” Settoon said. “Our students are extremely worthy of this honor.”

The game broadcast was directed by Southeastern student Taylor Nettle of Lacombe.

“I am blessed and grateful the Broadcast Education Association sees the hard work we put into this broadcast and that it was nationally recognized,” Nettle said. “This award fills my heart knowing the broadcast I had so much fun directing was enjoyed by viewers to the point it has been named fourth best in the nation.”

Announcers for the winning broadcast were play-by-play announcer Jace LeJeune of Baton Rouge, color analyst Lonn Ellzey of New Orleans and sideline reporter Caroline Fussell of Covington.

Other student crew members included instant replay operator Jermaine Kelly of Shreveport, video playback operator Asante Jackson of Baton Rouge, graphics operator Ross Chauvin of Houma, audio mixer Chris Arroyo of Slidell and audio playback operator Wesley Ennis of Baton Rouge.

Alissa Kellis of Slidell, Richie Cruz of New Orleans, Dathan Sanders of Baton Rouge and Faith Farris of Slidell were camera operators. Henry Vanderbrook of New Orleans and Tristyn Turner of Denham Springs served as camera grips.

In addition, Lauryn Jackson of Baton Rouge was assistant producer, while Alexis Genovese of Amite and Ian Nicoll of Covington were production assistants.

The winning football broadcast was one of 21 Lion games produced by Southeastern Channel students last year for live streaming on ESPN+. Along with football games, the students produced baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball games.

“The crew for these broadcasts works together a lot throughout the year, and we have built up a strong trust and support for each other, which increases the content of our broadcasts,” Nettle said. “I am lucky to be surrounded by a team of such talented young adults. We have grown finding ways to help each other, and we have formed a strong foundation to face technical issues head-on and calmly.”

Settoon said that it is a rarity for an all-student crew to produce Division One collegiate sports contests, including high-profile sports like football, for live streaming on ESPN+.

“ESPN has told us that the quality of our game broadcasts is the best they’ve seen in the entire country for an entirely student production,” Settoon said. “They said we consistently live up to the professional quality standards and specifications required by ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.”

“Making ESPN-quality broadcasts is by no means easy,” Nettle said. “A lot of preparation goes into these games for all positions – from announcers, to graphics and even camera operators. We study camera assignments weeks before a game and make sure all camera operators have knowledge of the other camera operators’ assignments in case of an emergency.”

Producing live game broadcasts for ESPN+ is one of the exciting opportunities offered to students by the new sports communication concentration in the university’s Department of Communication and Media Studies, Setttoon said. The new sports academic degree program is one of the few of its kind in the nation.

In addition to the game broadcasts, the new degree program also offers students the opportunity to work on Southeastern Channel sports productions like the live weekly sportscast, “The Big Game,” modeled after ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and recognized as the best student sportscast in the nation by college broadcasters inc.

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 sports production for television broadcast and video streaming like no other university,” Settoon said. “We’re attracting students in sports broadcasting from throughout the state and South, and they’re landing impressive jobs in the sports broadcasting industry upon graduation.”

Nettle said she never thought she would direct a live game broadcast for ESPN+, especially at 19, and that the opportunity is unique and rare.

“Student broadcasts are something that teach you what this industry is actually like,” Nettle continued. “You can read a textbook and watch a YouTube video, but nothing is as good of a teacher as experience. The experience we gain as students from these broadcasts is setting us up for success.”

As a sophomore in college, Nettle said the Southeastern Channel has already taught her much in several areas of production that will help her when she graduates.

“I will enter the real world with more knowledge due to the experiences I have had throughout college and with a network of fellow broadcasters and young adults pursuing the same career as me,” she said.

In its 19 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards. The channel can be seen on Spectrum 199 cable in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes with a digital cable box.

Web users and Smart TV owners can view the channel’s high-definition live web stream on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and the Spectrum TV App. The channel’s livestream is also available at http://thesoutheasternchannel.com/ live-stream/ and on Mt. Hermon Web-TV in Washington Parish at http://www.mthermonwebtv.com/

In addition, the Southeastern Channel is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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