ESPN New Hampshire Radio covers a broad range of both regional and local sports. Afternoon drive shows like “The Stretch Run with Jimmy Murphy” and weekend shows like “The Sports Blast” provide commentary on Boston-based teams. Other shows, like “Friday Night Lights”, supply play-by-play coverage of high school athletics. Regardless of the scope of the coverage, ESPN needs a way to engage their audience and keep their coverage vibrant.
Nick Anastos, Program Director and Chief Operator for ESPN New Hampshire, along with the rest of his team have been using Comrex ACCESS to do remotes in the community for several years now.
“We love using ACCESS,” said Anastos. “It’s so easy to use. We use it with a MiFi connection, which provides us with a lot of versatility and has been very reliable for us. The ACCESS takes about 20 seconds to boot up, and the MiFi takes about 30 seconds. It takes about 10 seconds to connect them – all in all, the entire process takes less than a minute.”
ACCESS is their main tool of choice for remotes. “We use ACCESS for on-location remotes from games, or from venues like bars. Our coverage usually lasts about two to three hours, and we broadcast about 20 to 30 miles from the station,” said Anastos.
“ACCESS has definitely allowed us to do more remotes. It’s enabled us to get out into the community more. There are fewer headaches, less worrying, and the system never drops,” said Anastos.
Doing more remotes means that ESPN New Hampshire has been able to produce more community focused programming. “Right now, we’re covering high school football weekly for our show “Friday Night Lights”. We go to a different school every week, and do play-by-play of the game.”
“Friday Night Lights is our biggest live crowd,” said Anastos. “Anywhere from a few hundred people to a few thousand attend each game. Everyone in attendance sees our banner, and we’re able to pass out fliers and do other publicity for our show.”
“Before ACCESS, we were covering high school football, but it was a studio based program. We would just update listeners with the scores, but we wouldn’t have any live commentary,” said Anastos. “Now, we actually attend the games, and do play-by-play commentary. We have an hour of pregame commentary, along with a few hours of postgame. We can do that now, because we have ACCESS.”