Aug. 27, 2002
Bowling Green, Ky. - Western Kentucky University, a member of Official College Sports Network (OCSN), and RealNetworks?, Inc., the global leader in Internet media delivery, have partnered for the 2002 college football season to bring the play-by-play of all the WKU football, men's basketball and women's basketball action to Hilltoppers fans everywhere.
Western, along with more than 45 top colleges and universities, will bring exciting, multimedia content including live audio broadcasts of the best in college sports action to fans across the Internet via a new subscription-only service called College Sports Pass.
This exciting college package will kick off the fall sports season by providing live audio coverage of football games to fans everywhere via the Internet. College Sports Pass will feature Western Kentucky, along with defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Miami (Fla.), nationally ranked Washington, Michigan State, Illinois, Arizona and more than 40 others.
Topper fans will also be treated to audio and/or video from selected news conferences, live statistics breakdowns, and other relevant programming for just $6.95 a month. Subscribers will be treated to the highest bandwidth live broadcast yet available.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our fans everywhere," said WKU Athetics Director Dr. Wood Selig. "Western's presence on the Internet and Hilltopper fans' ability to follow our athletic teams continues to grow through our website and our relationship with OCSN.
"Now, the audio of our football and basketball games will be available through the facilities of RealNetworks, the leader in the industry, giving Hilltopper athletics the best service available, a major improvement in our audio presence on the Internet," he added. "Unfortunately, to make this major step forward, there are new costs involved and we are no longer able to make our broadcasts available to our fans free of charge. But, we commend OCSN and RealNetworks for their efforts to make all of Western's football and basketball action available at such a reasonable rate."
To sign up for the subscription to Hilltopper Pass, Western Kentucky fans can go directly to the Hilltoppers' official athletic site (www.wkusports.com), www.realone.com, or directly to their RealOne Player. A full list of participating colleges may be found at: www.CollegeSports.com.
"With the addition of OCSN partners such as Western Kentucky University, RealOne is solidifying its position as the preeminent sports destination online," stated Scott Ehrlich, Vice President, Media Acquisition and Distribution, RealNetworks, Inc. "By harnessing the best in both college and professional sports, we're able to provide Hilltopper fans with the ultimate in sports programming from their own school and national sources - only available on RealOne."
The Hilltoppers' first event on RealNetworks at www.wkusports.com will be Western's football season-opener at Kansas State Saturday (Aug. 31), set to kickoff at 6:10 p.m. (CDT). The Internet broadcast of the event will begin at 5:10 p.m. and fans across the country can hear all the action through the Red Towel Post-Game Show with Coach Jack Harbaugh.
"Through College Sports Pass, Real and OCSN will be bringing the best-of-class multi-media content available on the Internet today to the most avid college sports fans," stated Jeff Cravens, OCSN (formerly the FANSonly Network) President. "We're excited to not only introduce this program, but to work with RealNetworks and our universities to develop premium, exclusive content targeted at the most loyal fan base in sports."