Dick Harmon: BYUtv breaking new ground on sports coverage

Published: Saturday, May 21 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

PROVO — Derek Marquis has a front seat in witnessing a technological revolution: Delivering BYU athletic events to the four corners of the world.

The metamorphic change, a big chunk of it in the course of a few months, has been accomplished quicker than any collegiate sports entity in the nation.

Marquis is the managing director of BYU Broadcasting and oversees BYUtv, KBYU radio and television. He has become a point man in BYU's partnership with ESPN and he is overseeing progress in delivering broadcast exposure for BYU's sports brand and other programming.

As BYU breaks ties with the Mountain West Conference June 30 and moves many of its sports to the West Coast Conference while attempting independence in football, a myriad of digital enterprises will spider web across the globe.

BYUtv is currently broadcast in HD on Comcast in Utah, HD over-the-air in Utah and HD worldwide with live streaming at www.BYUtv.org.

Broadcasting the product in HD has been a priority.

This weekend, I asked Marquis to name theTop 3 mileposts BYUtv has achieved since the state of the art building and studio opened in February. I then asked him what expects the top advances will be in coming months.

The Done List

BYUtv is now producing and transmitting all content in full HD over the air as well as on Comcast in Utah (channel 647).

"We are working hard to secure additional HD carriage throughout the U.S. I wanted to make sure everyone knows our Internet stream is full HD," he said. "I'm pretty sure there isn't another university in the country that will have 140-live HD events online this year, let alone nationwide."

The new BYU Broadcasting Building is now fiber connected to the Marriott Center allowing BYUtv to produce events out of the Marriott Center directly from the control rooms in the building freeing up our new HD truck to be used simultaneously at other venues on campus.

"In the past, we had to pick and choose which events we would cover as we could only have our truck in one place at a time," he said. "In addition to the Marriott Center, we are also connecting the other key venues on campus to the new building which, again, will allow us to do multiple athletic events in the same day."

Since moving into the building, BYUtv produced its first games in partnership with the WCC when it produced eight of the WCC Basketball Tournament games from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in March.

"BYUtv produced and aired eight of the tournament games and ESPN produced four of the tournament games," he said. "(Of course, BYUtv didn't play in the tournament as we were still under the MWC in March, but our partnership with the WCC is now in full swing)."

Other mileposts and capabilities include a locally produced "True Blue" show hosted by Las Vegas TV personality Dave McCann. The station is producing a series to be released in the fall called "Legends" a look back at BYU's greatest players and coaches.

"We have several other sports and non-sports related series and specials currently in production," he said. "The new facilities give us capacity and capabilities we've simply not had heretofore."

The Coming-up List

BYUtv will air approximately 140 live BYU Athletics events/games in the coming year. This will be more live games airing nationally for BYU than at any year in the history. In addition, BYUtv will air approximately 80 other sports related programs and specials such as Legends, True Blue and other sports oriented programming bringing the total to well over 200 during the year. BYUtv is currently in approximately 60 million homes nationwide on Dish Network, DirecTV and over 500 cable systems.

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