Bethel Sports NetworkIt’s game day for the Bethel Pilots and excitement is building in Gates Gymnasium in the moments before tip-off. More than 2,000 miles away, Dick Riddle ’64, who was on Bethel’s first men’s intercollegiate basketball team, tunes in to watch the game in real time. This live-streaming is made possible through Bethel Sports Network (BSN), a  student-driven organization within Bethel’s communication department that launched in the fall of 2014.

The idea for BSN was to give students a competitive edge in the growing field of sports journalism. Director of Student Media and Assistant Professor of Communication Tim Ceravolo had the know-how to accomplish it, having spent 24 years in TV broadcasting before coming to Bethel in 2006. But it was a $40,000 grant from Eli Lilly that provided the funds necessary to purchase equipment to get started: four high-definition cameras, lighting, a switcher, a virtual set and a tricaster.

Ceravolo says, “We essentially have a video production truck in our little tricaster to do live production. It allows for live streaming, live production, layering, mixed audio, etc.”

The goal of BSN is twofold: to give students hands-on experience and to provide those interested in Bethel sports a way to see sporting events off campus. It takes 12-15 students to make each live broadcast happen – from directing and technical directing to producing, videography, graphics, audio, research and announcing.

For students, BSN has added value to their Bethel experience.

“The Bethel Sports Network provided a professional, hands-on, live sports broadcasting experience,” says Brad Brink, a senior serving as director and technical director. “I’m now in a better position to obtain my dream job.”

Junior Ethan Klein, who does play-by-play for the show, agrees. “Being a part of BSN has been a great experience … I think this program has some great potential moving forward and I can’t wait to continue to be involved for as long as I am here.”

Ceravolo hopes to see the network grow, but admits that funding is needed to purchase more equipment – especially cameras and a larger tricaster that processes higher resolution video.

Tune in to any time to view archived games and watch sports updates.