In February, Braves' home basketball games and wrestling matches are going live on Time Warner's Cable Channel 6 thanks to WNCP-TV, UNC Pembroke's broadcasting program.
According to Professor Mike DeCinti, the project gives broadcasting majors a unique television experience.
"We do our news programs live, but that's all in our studio in Old Main," DeCinti said. "With live sports, we have two crews, one at the Jones Athletic Center and one in Old Main. It requires considerable additional planning and coordination."
To do live television requires a lot of hardware and software, but there is one additional learning experience for the students.
"Stress," DeCinti said. "Working in a live environment is one of the most stressful and rewarding broadcasting experiences."
The live broadcasts are made possible by the installation of an additional fiber optic link on campus to the Jones Athletic Center. This year, one camera and five students are being used to shoot six basketball games and two wrestling matches, but that will change, DeCinti said.
"We are ordering new equipment for next year that will enable us to use 2-3 cameras and to produce better graphics," he said. "That will raise the bar for planning and coordination, and it will allow us to use more students."
All remaining home basketball games and one wrestling match will be broadcast in February, including:
- men's and women's basketball Monday, February 16 beginning at 5:30 p.m.;
- wrestling on Thursday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m.;
- men's and women's basketball Saturday, February 21 at 2 p.m. (Homecoming) and
- men's and women's basketball Wednesday, February 25 at 5:30 p.m.
The games will be replayed on Time Warner's Cable Channel 6. The local access cable channel is available to Robeson County cable subscribers.
UNCP's Athletic Department has video-streamed games over the Internet for several years, but cablecasting the games live takes UNCP athletics to the next level. Athletic Director Dan Kenney appreciates the support of WNCP-TV.
"Athletics is indebted to WNCP-TV, the Mass Communications Department, and the leadership of Professor Mike DeCinti for making these broadcasts a reality," Kenney said.
Providing live play-by-play commentary for basketball is William Freeman, long-time voice of Braves' basketball. Doing color commentary are Assistant Athletic Director John Haskins, Director of Student Activities Abdul Ghaffar, Lumberton Recreation Director Wendell Staton and broadcast student Brad Ciociola.
Providing commentary for wrestling are Lumberton High School Wrestling Coach Jimmy Carroway and David Blanks.
For questions about the live broadcast or the broadcasting program at UNCP, contact Mike DeCinti at 910.521.6598 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.