Big Ten Network gives students hands-on experience behind the camera – and in front of it

By Adam King

One day you might be hearing Evan Winkofsky calling Chicago Bulls games on the radio. If so, he’d be able to thank women’s lacrosse for helping him get there.

Winkofsky, an Ohio State senior, is one of many students across the Big Ten Conference who are getting their first taste of live sports programming while providing content for the league’s television network. The games – which are student-produced, announced and filmed – first air live on the Big Ten Network’s Internet feed, then are rebroadcast on the cable network the next day.

“My parents have told me from an early age that I have a face for radio,” Winkofsky said with a laugh. “I enjoy doing the television broadcasting though. I went home the other day and turned on a broadcast and thought, ‘Yeah, I’m on TV.’ It’s pretty cool.”

The Big Ten Student U program began as an experiment as a way to cover games that normally wouldn’t be aired and give students real-world experience. The 11 Big Ten schools shared six $100,000 production kits – also known as fly packs – which include up to three high-definition stationary cameras, a sideline camera and a mobile broadcast unit that operates with an on-site director, announcer, color commentator and sideline reporter.

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