Nov. 15, 2012
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Not so long ago, to watch a college sporting event, one would need to be in attendance at the event itself. That notion changed forever with the outset of the Big Ten Network in 2007.
Since its inception, BTN has broadcast hundreds of Olympic sporting events — an accomplishment unmatched by any other network. Fans have grown to cherish the coverage of their schools. Student-athletes are enjoying the opportunities presented by it as well.
The network provides great coverage of Big Ten volleyball. Eleven of Iowa’s league matches have been televised on the BTN, BTN.com or Mediacom (MC22). That is over half of Iowa’s conference slate. For student-athletes not from the region, it is a blessing for their families.
“It is fun knowing that family and friends can tune into the match,” said junior Nikki Dailey. “It makes playing much more special, because I know all my loved ones are watching and cheering us on.”
Junior Rachael Bedell and freshman Anne Yanda hail from Texas, and Georgia, respectively. Television and radio coverage allow families and friends the opportunity to follow the action, no matter the distance from first serve.
“It’s really nice for my family and friends when we have the opportunity to play on television,” said Bedell. “Being so far away from home, my parents are only able to come to so many games. My sisters and friends haven’t been able to come up to Iowa to watch in person, so being on TV gives them that opportunity that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Iowa’s matches at Northwestern (Oct. 21) and against top-ranked Penn State (Oct. 24) were broadcast live on BTN to a national audience.
“It provides a huge advantage for my family and friends back in the south,” said Yanda. “Everyone back home watched our matches against Northwestern and Penn State. It was so cool for them to be able to see the inside of Carver and where I spend a lot of my time, since most of them cannot travel up to Iowa to see a match in person.”
As a prospect, the notion of playing the sport you love on TV and allowing those back home the chance to watch you in action is very enticing.
“Seeing the Big Ten Network cameras and crew reminds you that playing in the Big Ten is a big deal and adds an adrenaline boost. I realize how blessed I am and what a unique opportunity I have.”
Freshman Anne Yanda
“It definitely made an impact; almost like an added bonus to playing the sport you love…knowing it can be broadcast live to the ones you love,” said Dailey.
“Knowing I would be able to play on TV several times was really appealing to me when choosing to play at Iowa,” said Yanda. “Since Iowa is far away from home, I knew that my family wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch all of the matches in person like they did in high school, and it was comforting to know that they would be able to watch us from Georgia.”
The TV coverage only adds to the overall experience student-athletes receive at the University of Iowa.
“Having the opportunity to play on BTN and other major outlets was an added bonus to what all Iowa had to offer to me as a university,” said Bedell. “Especially as an aspiring sports broadcaster, it is really cool to be on the other side of it all.
“It is an added aspect that Iowa brings to the table. Playing at a Division I school in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation brings excitement and opportunities my family or I would have never had otherwise.”
These student-athletes grew up watching sports on TV. Now, they are relishing the opportunity to have viewers see them on the tube.
“It is very cool to play on national television,” said Bedell. “It is another opportunity that we get as student-athletes that we can always look back upon when we think about our collegiate careers.”
“Seeing the Big Ten Network cameras and crew reminds you that playing in the Big Ten is a big deal and adds an adrenaline boost,” said Yanda.
“I realize how blessed I am and what a unique opportunity I have.”
Iowa continues Big Ten action this week, traveling to Wisconsin and No. 14 Minnesota in its final league road weekend. The Hawkeyes and Badgers will meet Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes and Gophers will square off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (CT). The match against the Gophers can be seen live on BTN.com.