PROVO, Utah, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on its unprecedented leadership in live High Definition (HD) college sports programming, Brigham Young University's national non-commercial television network, BYUtv, today announced the launch of byutvsports.com – a groundbreaking interactive HD website that combines social media interaction and gamification elements with the passion and commitment of being a devoted spectator. The site is designed to fully engage a tech-savvy fan base, allow them to live stream or access BYUtv's video-on-demand archive anywhere, anytime, on any device, interface with other social media platforms and move beyond observer status by becoming virtual "players" and "commentators" on their favorite teams. As the only nationwide university-affiliated network continues to expand carriage of its "see the good in the world" programming to new markets throughout the country, BYUtvsports.com provides a customized multimedia fan-based platform that complements its existing availability across 50 million homes through more than 800 operators in every state, via cable and satellite, as well as on byutv.org.
BYUtv's digital media director Ryan Holmes, formerly CEO of Chair Entertainment, brings a gaming industry background to the task of developing the network's sports branding and global broadband distribution strategy (he led the team behind creation of Infinity Blade and Shadow Complex before his company was acquired by Epic Games, Inc., in 2008).
"BYUtvsports.com delivers a new type of digital sports experience, with instant, on-demand access to HD sports video that combines a kind of online tailgating environment geared towards the millennial generation," said Holmes. "With the mobile technology available today, there's no reason not to bring live and on-demand video, team traditions, players and coaches, along with the college stadium itself to Cougar fans, wherever they might be, whenever it's convenient for them. We've enabled fans to virtually paint their faces blue and contribute their own content right alongside ours."
Once registered, users can fully immerse themselves by establishing their own personal fan identities and site rankings, interacting with fellow BYU sports enthusiasts, providing their own live game commentary or post-game analysis and uploading photos and videos. A big attraction will be the ability for users to stream live events or use the site's DVR capabilities. BYUtv's entire sports video archive will be accessible through byutvsports.com.
Gamification elements allow users to raise their fan status by building a robust profile and exploring the site's many features and activities – such as designing a personalized team jersey, creating their own stat sheets, winning achievement badges and being interviewed by BYUtv sports commentator Dave McCann. The answers, along with other queries, categorizing information and challenges found on the site (http://byutvsports.com/fans/challenges/?guid=745b8c11-8a77-46ca-8138-dc5f3f7922dc) build fans' individual identities and create a social media community of interactive BYU sports enthusiasts.
Leveraging BYUtv's unrivaled football coverage agreement and long-term relationship with ESPN, byutvsports.com integrates elements of the cable giant's own site. Users can conveniently find ESPN's familiar interactive Gamecast, along with aggregated sports headlines at the top of the page from major news sources including ESPN, CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, the Deseret News and the Daily Herald, as well as access the entire vault of ESPN BYU game content, including all ESPN BYU football archives.
"ESPN's integration into our site is a continuation of our unique collaborative relationship, and is a testament to the quality and caliber of BYUtv's overall sports programming," said Mikel Minor, Senior Coordinating Producer of Sports Events & Programming at BYU Broadcasting and a former ESPN Sports Center producer. "As we expand from traditional broadcast into digital media, and find new ways to provide our hungry fans with on-demand information and entertainment, ESPN remains an active participant in the development of BYUtv's sports platforms."
BYUtv is a groundbreaking High Definition non-commercial television network based in Provo, Utah, currently available in 50 million homes throughout the United States. With the tag line of "see the good in the world," the network's original offerings stand out for their thoughtful examination of redeeming elements in our fast-paced, complex world.
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