By Kylie Jordan, Social media manager
The Gulf South Conference has announced that men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball will now be streamed on FloSports for this upcoming regular season. But, the addition of streaming has proven to be both beneficial and difficult to the production team and athletic fans who have to adjust to these changes.
FloSports is a streaming platform that gives viewers live access to multiple college sports on platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, IOS and Chromecast. FloSports started its partnership with the Gulf South Conference in fall 2020.
Prior to this fall semester, all Montevallo athletic events were live-streamed by the Mass Communication Department on YouTube. Now, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball will be behind a paywall on FloSports. FloSports offers subscriptions of $14.99 a month or $99.99 for a year. There is a discount available that gives students a $9.99 per month option.
One concern raised by UM athletic fans is the price of this subscription. The University of Montevallo is a Division II school, so student-athletes are rarely awarded full-ride scholarships. Diana Smith, a fan of UM athletics, expressed her concern that parents and friends of these players now have to pay to watch their loved ones play.
“If you want a fanbase, they’re going to have to pay,” she said. This could arise as an ongoing problem of UM Athletics losing their fanbase.
Dr. Jay Cofield, a broadcast production professor in the Mass Communication Department, makes sure that these broadcasts run smoothly. Cofield said streaming games on FloSports ramps up expectations of their usual broadcast production.
“It would be a little bit more difficult in that we actually have to play FloSports commercials at certain times,” Cofield said. “We can’t just sit there and not do anything during the timeouts.”
FloSports is also a network television business, which increases the expectation for broadcast quality.
Producing athletic events for FloSports is a great way for students to get involved, according to Cofield. Mass communication students who have experience from their classes are preferred for higher-level broadcast positions such as graphics operator or replay operator. Other students are welcome to get involved to earn production credit or on a volunteer basis.
FloSports also creates opportunities for UM students to get paid for their work.
“We also, this fall, because of FloSports, are going to be creating some new paid positions on the crew like a graphic operator, replay operator, and the road producer,” said Cofield, “So we’re really excited about that because in the past we had maybe one or two paid positions where now, we’ll be able to do that as a job.”
One thing Cofield is most excited about with this new way of broadcast production is the ability to be more professional with the production.
“We actually have a way to pay people and make sure it’s worth their dollar,” he said.