On Sept. 25, 2014, the Big East Conference partnered up with Fox Sports to launch the Big East Digital Network (BEDN).
The online channel was designed as a way to offer free live streaming of sporting events throughout the conference. The channel initially only planned to stream approximately 100 live sporting events a year, but according to its website, that number has doubled in 2015. In its second season, the network will stream 225 events.
The BEDN now allows for many sports that are usually not broadcast live the opportunity to be aired, according to Kim Adams, a sideline reporter and basketball analyst for the conference.
“Fans could always catch men’s basketball games and occasionally women’s basketball games on television, but now fans of sports like soccer, volleyball and baseball can watch their teams easily and gain valuable insight from analysts while doing so,” she said.
According to the official website, the Big East became the first collegiate conference to be hosted on Fox’s mobile platform, Fox Sports Go. The app provides the live streaming video of Fox Sports and other content. The app is available on iTunes or Google Play and is also accessible on desktop comput- ers through FoxSportsGo.com.
A year after launching, the BEDN continues to take significant strides forward. Cayleigh Griffin, a digital correspondent and college sideline reporter for the Big East, said more and more people are finding out about the app.
“The Big East website has been redone in the past year, making it easier to access the digital content and get the Fox Sports Go app,” Griffin said in regard to reasons for the network’s growth.
In addition to the new website launch, Adams said the approach taken by the network has also changed.
“With a year under our belts, we are able to analyze what worked well and what could be improved or tweaked,” she said. “We are implementing new segments like weekly top plays for the different sports.”
Adams feels that the viewers will appreciate these new additions because “there is much more that goes on behind the games or box scores.”
New additions to the network such as these have helped it double in size. For the 2015 fall sports season, 99 total soccer and volleyball matches will be broadcast across the network. That is nearly how many total matches were supposed to be broadcasted annually when the network launched just a little over a year ago.
Another interesting fact about the BEDN, according to Griffin, is that it is “the only place a lot of Olympic sports are streamed.” Because of the unique niche communities of these sports, the network is able to attract those specific audiences.
Griffin also added that the BEDN is a great media outlet for sporting events that are not broadcast on national television. She pointed out that every women’s basketball game this year not broadcast on national television will be broadcast on the BEDN.
With the BEDN is still young and growing, Adams said the network will continue to work to come up with new ideas and content.
“We hope that our passion for the conference and its athletes reflects in our work. I feel that is what makes it truly special,” Griffin said.
Matthew Rachek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @matthewrachek.