By: Darby Childress
When you think about watching your favorite team on TV what sport do you think of? Most would say football, basketball, or baseball. But what about the other sports like softball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball. Occasionally you’ll see those sports pop up on your channel guide but most times those are overlooked by the three aforementioned sports. Sometimes even reruns are taking up these slots. Most colleges have a limited number amount of towers they can broadcast off of. Clemson, for example, has two of these towers.
So what happens when there is more than one game being played at the same time? The schools have a decision to make. Which games will they broadcast? Well unfortunately for some, schools will choose the games they believe will draw in the larger crowds. Last season this came up a few times. Woman’s basketball, softball, and baseball all had games on the same day at roughly the same time. In case you were wondering basketball and baseball got those two slots. So what happens to the people who want to watch those sports but cannot make it to the game to see it live. Well, there are other options, but they can be pricy.
Softball, for example, costs $12.49 per month, so even if you wanted to watch just one game you would have to pay full price for that month. This may not sound that expensive to some but, when you consider that you are already paying for a cable box and a few other subscriptions, paying another $12.49 per month just to watch one or two games may seem ridiculous. Last season only 4 of 19 games played were only streamed live on FloSoftball and were later uploaded to ACCNX. Only 2 out of the 19 games Clemson softball played were streamed live on the ACC Network. What about soccer? Only ONE regular-season men’s soccer game was streamed live on the ACC Network. None of the regular-season women’s soccer games were streamed live.
As far as other sports such as men’s and women’s tennis, volleyball, track, and field, etc, unless you are in the stadium for the match, or know someone who was, you likely will not know what happened during the match other than the outcome of it. For comparison, every single Clemson football game was streamed live on either: ESPN, or ACC Network. Much could be said about that. 1) Football brings in larger crowds. 2) Clemson football has produced 2 National Championships in the past 4 years and has reached the playoffs in all 4. Valid points of course.
But, with that being said these other sports should have the opportunity to be seen outside of the stadium without having to pay extra per month to watch. What are some other options? Perhaps having schools or networks stream live broadcasts from the press box. In the era of social media and high-speed internet, there is no reason that these should not be options. But as of now, most stadiums have policies AGAINST people live streaming within the stadiums. Those who do so anyway and get caught run the risk of being kicked out of the stadium. As of now, there is no straight forward option on how to consistently be able to watch these games live without being in the stadium, which is something all sports fans, regardless of their favorite sport, should be asking questions about. By finding ways to get these athletes the attention they deserve, there is the opportunity to get more people interested which may lead to them coming to pack the stadiums, but until that option is found these athletes are left getting little to no recognition for the hard work they put in day in and day out.