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OHIO’s ESPN3 programming: Immersive experience through collaboration

OHIO’s ESPN3 programming: Immersive experience through collaboration
Claire Geary is seen working the camera for an Ohio University men’s basketball game through ESPN3.

An important part of any college journey is gaining real-life work experience, especially in the media industry. This is why Ohio University makes gaining those industry-immersive experiences a top priority. There are a multitude of ways that media students can gain that work experience at OHIO, one being ESPN3.

Claire Geary, a senior journalism major who has been heavily involved with the program, explained how the program works.

“ESPN3 is a curriculum-based learning experience in conjunction with Ohio Athletics and the Mid-American Conference to put on broadcast productions,” Geary said. “The students are the gears that make the production function. The students are every position on the broadcast, from the on-air talent to the cameras on the floor. Students can work themselves into the following roles when it comes to being part of the broadcast production team with ESPN3: Producer, Director, Technical Director, Replay, Graphics, Audio, Timeout Coordinator, four different camera operators, play-by-play, and color analysts. The student on-air talent is specific for volleyball and wrestling, but men’s and women’s basketball has paid talent. The production staff stays the same for all four sports.”

Any student interested in the production industry can work at ESPN3 starting their first week at Ohio.

“Game days with ESPN3 are similar to what a privately contracted broadcast would feel like,” Geary said. “The production staff show up hours before the first touch, set up the equipment, test all of the equipment and then put on a live production for 2-plus hours.”

Geary said she thinks ESPN3 has benefitted her career prospects.

“ESPN3 prepared me entirely for my internship this summer,” she said. “I was a production assistant with Bally Sports Great Lakes working on studio shows and the shoulder programming for the Cleveland Indians broadcasts. On the first day of my internship, they asked me if I knew how to work a camera. I said yes, and fully explained the parts of it. The veterans were impressed, and I blended in easily with the rest of the staff both on-air and behind the scenes.”

Geary listed a number of OHIO graduates who have gone on to careers in the field after working with ESPN3 as undergraduates. Examples include positions with CBS Sports and TLC’s reality TV shows in Austin, Texas, a reporter in Evansville, Indiana, and a graduate assistant at the University of Little Rock who produces broadcasts and social media content.

Students who are interested in working with ESPN3 can reach out to Andrew Mollenkopf or Claire Geary to learn more. No prior experience is required.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at professionally today without ESPN3,” Geary said. “This program is the closest thing to real life as a college campus could simulate, through the use of classes and college athletics. Not only has it prepared me for success, but those who came before me can say the same thing.”