If you’re a college sports fan like me, you know that tonight’s BCS Championship game between Florida State and Auburn marks the end of another quirky, riveting, and simply awesome college football bowl season and pits the two best teams (no, really) in Pasadena to play for the National Championship. However, tonight’s BCS Championship also marks the end of something else… the BCS itself. After tonight’s game, college football fans will finally be rewarded with a true playoff system at the 2014-2015 season; one that matches up the top four teams in the country at this time next year.
Anyone that’s been following college football- and college sports as a whole, for that matter- knows there have been massive changes over the last few years. There has been massive re-alignment among the major college sports conferences. We’ve seen TV contracts for major universities and conferences reach into the billions of dollars. We’ve seen the creation of conference-specific TV networks like the Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, and the forthcoming SEC Network (for whom Tim Tebow just signed a contract to be a featured analyst, I might add) where fans can overdose on their alma mater’s games no matter where or when they’re playing. Even the smaller schools create their own programming and offer it online for free (or for a small charge) these days because content is still king. This proliferation of sports-specific content lets the alumni base stay in touch with their school sports teams, but it also ingrains the school’s brand across multiple channels: television, online, mobile, print, etc. The expansion of college sports coverage- although sometimes a little overwhelming- has been a virtual boon for athletic programs across the country. As someone with a pretty wide-spread family history of college sports, I’m certainly not complaining.
So what’s next? Are multi-billion dollar broadcast deals going to force the creation of “Super Conferences”? Are viewership trends going to continue to push the online channel to deliver similar quality content to what we see on television? Will the viewer experience change and become even more interactive? Will television broadcasts be forced to change their formulas and offer something we don’t even know about? To be honest, I don’t have the answers; but I do know that whatever happens will be interesting and will push our technical limits. With our combination of award-winning Vyvx Solutions and the Level 3 CDN, we’re always pushing ourselves to be at the forefront of online and broadcast sports delivery. And with our expansive college sports footprint that includes VenueNet Lite and VenueNet+ offerings, you can be sure Level 3 will be right there with you as next year’s “true” National Championship is crowned.
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