By William Callahan
In August, Frontier Communications announced the launch of the Vantage Sports Network, a brand new local channel that will bring viewers coverage of local the Connecticut’s youth, high school, and college sports.
The network has partnered with Sacred Heart University and it will serve as the home of the Vantage Sports Network studio. “This network will primarily focus on local sports here in the Connecticut area,” said professor Andrew Miller. “Its flagship show, which is called ‘CT Sports Now,’ will be every night Monday-Friday at 10:30 and it will be shot here in our studio on the Sacred Heart campus.”
Besides showcasing Connecticut high school sports, the network has also partnered with the University of Connecticut, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and the Connecticut Special Olympics Unified Games.
“Just like ESPN has SportsCenter as its flagship show, CT Sports Now will be Vantage Sports Network’s flagship show,” said Miller.
The show will be a half hour each night showing the residents of Connecticut highlights from the games of the day. The network already has local coverage planned for high school football games in cities such as Bridgeport, Norwalk, Fairfield, and Danbury.
This new partnership will provide college students with unique internships in gaining experience in the sports broadcast industry.
“There will be five undergraduate interns and five graduate interns working on the program,” said Miller. “In addition, we have two full-time graduate assistants who are in the sports communications graduate program that work on the network full-time.”
The two Graduate Assistants that will be working on the network are Franco Micheo and Allison Gaskins.
“I am the coordinating light producer and my main job for the network is pre-production,” said Micheo. “I’ll be in charge of the ten field producers we have here on the network and I’ll be in charge of their scheduling on when, where and what sports events they are supposed to cover.”
“I will then receive the footage from the field producers and make any necessary edits to make the highlights for the show,” said Micheo.
Micheo is joined by Gaskins, who is the director on the network.
“I will be controlling the control room during the show and working on post production stuff,” said Gaskins. “I’ll be working with the people that are working on audio, the teleprompter and the graphics control room.”
“I’m here to make sure the show runs smoothly and to make sure that everyone has a job to do,” said Gaskins.
Sacred Heart will look to benefit from having a sports show on campus and are in good company geographically with NBC Sports to its south in Stamford and ESPN to its north in Bristol.
“Because we are right smack in the middle of well known sports industries, we have the opportunity to have people who work there to come to Sacred Heart to teach our students,” said Miller.
“People like Molly Qerim from ESPN’s First Take, Paul Pabst from The Dan Patrick Show and Brian Thorne who is a professional camera operator for the PGA Tour come down here and teach our students,” said Miller.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for Sacred Heart students because it will be a show that people from all across the state will be watching,” said Micheo.
Gaskins echoes Micheo’s thoughts on how great an opportunity being able to work with Vantage Sports is.
“It’s a great real-world experience for Sacred Heart students because you’re going to have opportunities here that you wouldn’t have on other networks,” said Gaskins. “Being a technical director for example, can take up to five to ten years on other networks but here you could be one right away.”
“Our goal for the show is to showcase the young athletes of Connecticut on television and give them an opportunity to be on TV,” said Micheo.