The Mountain West Pioneers Streaming to Reach Large Fanbase

December 21st, 2018 | by CollegeAD
The Mountain West Pioneers Streaming to Reach Large Fanbase
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the mountain west
“We’ve always been innovative and willing to try things. We like to talk about the fact that we were the first to have a conference only network with the Mountain West a little bit before the Big Ten, probably a little bit before its time.” Bret Gilliland, Mountain West, Deputy Commissioner.

The Mountain West has always been ahead of its time when it comes to bringing their sports events to the fans. They were the first conference to launch a network, and now they are one of the first to embrace streaming on social media. the mountain west

“We did make a conscious decision going into this set of contracts,” explains Gilliland. “We wanted to carve out some digital space so that we could experiment there. “The reason we wanted to do that was to get an understanding of that part of the, of the industry, to understand how it works, to understand the distribution platforms to get engaged on, on viewership and how people were consuming content.”

Understanding the lay of the land seems to be crucial to Mountain West’s fan engagement. The networks prefer to schedule some Mountain West games to start after 8 p.m., as that gives the league an opportunity to gain more viewers in East Coast time zones. That brings in additional TV revenue but makes it more difficult for local fans to attend games. They needed a way to reach the masses without sacrificing the in-person game day experience.

“We’ve been developing the streaming space during a six-year period. It’s only been the last couple of years that we’ve taken some football and basketball games,” says Gilliland.

And those basketball games and football games have been met with success. The Mountain West, Stadium, and Facebook have teamed up broadcast Mountain West content to an even wider audience. Stadium is a first-of-its-kind, fully programmed, 24/7, multiplatform sports network. The league is now offering a basketball package via, Stadium, after offering college football.

“Our digital capabilities, our institutional familiarity with how to stream games certainly was important to have that infrastructure and understanding in place because it then made it easier for us to do this. These Facebook games work because our folks already kind of knew how that social media works” says Gilliland.
the mountain west
Here’s how easy it is to find Mountain West games from anywhere in the world. In order to watch the stream, fans follow the Live: Stadium College Basketball Show Page. The games will also be available on the Mountain West Facebook page. It’s easy on the audience, but the conference did iron out a few kinks along the way.

“We’ve certainly learned that that type of broadcast gets done in a different way than the traditional linear broadcast. It’s on a platform where engagement by the viewers and engagement by the fans is important. So how you build the format for that game, how you incorporate your talent in the booth, your sideline reporter, is different.”

The learning experience has been interesting to watch. Once again, it appears the Mountain West is pioneering the viewing experience.

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