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Monday, August 08, 2016 04:21 PM

UW-Whitewater broadcast students learn football and the craft of live television production

Pregame with Connor Moore and Adam Reed.

September 3rd and 4th will be a busy weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  Sunday the 4th, is officially “Move In Day” for the nearly 4,000 students who live on campus.  One day earlier, however, a different form of excitement will be in the air.  It’s the home opener for the six-time national champion UW-Whitewater Warhawks football team. At 11:00 a.m., while the athletes strap up for opening day and tailgaters gambol from the parking lots to fantastic Perkins Stadium, the UWW-TV student crew will be there, too, with Warhawk Sports Saturday. This live one-hour pre-game show is televised on the campus cable access TV channel and streamed at uwwtv.org. 

This will be the fifth season of UWW-TV’s signature sports program, although live sporting events have been produced since the early 1980s.The crew consists of students majoring in Electronic Media and Broadcast Journalism.  Director of UWW-TV Jim Mead and UWW-TV Program Director Eric Stelter are on site for every broadcast, but the production is in the hands of students looking to develop their skills in a live television environment. 

The pre-game show includes analysis and commentary from a sports announcing duo that spends numerous hours prepping the week before the game.   The student crew also includes a field reporter, four camera operators, a director, a technical director, replay and graphics operators, and an audio technician…all who work each season’s home field pre-game show and the game itself in rain, shine, snow or freezing cold.  By the end of a typical broadcast, the entire crew has put in an eight-hour day, which also includes production of a live halftime show and post-game interview with Warhawk Head Football Coach Kevin Bullis.

All the hard work students have been putting into producing Warhawk Sports Saturday has paid off in recent years.  Award recognition has come from both Wisconsin Community Media’s “Best of the Midwest Media Fest” and the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association Student Award Presentations.  The biggest honor the students receive, however, is when supporters from the opposing team take the time to contact them via the stream site or email and tell them what a great job they do.

The broadcast students at UW-Whitewater are an enthusiastic and hard-working bunch.  Whether the Warhawks emerge victorious or not on the 3rd, the crew is already a winner.