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WMC-TV5 Launches New Sports Program With U of M Students
For release: November 1, 2007
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WMC-TV5 has launched the Internet Game of the Week, a live weekly broadcast of high school sporting events, in partnership with Turner Sports and the University of Memphis’ College of Communication and Fine Arts. The broadcasts are aired live each week on WMCTV.com and archived on the station’s website. A crew of nine communication and journalism students produce the broadcasts, set up the state-of-the-art Internet production system, run all four cameras, direct and even do play-by-play.

“We went to a two-day training workshop to learn about the equipment and some of the technical aspects, but on Fridays it’s just us, a producer from the television station, and tech support from Turner Sports over the phone,” explains Shannon Pickett, a senior in communication. “This is an invaluable experience for all of us, because we have to work together and we have to get things right the first time around because it’s a live broadcast,” Pickett continues.

The station is equally excited to work with talented students from the University.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver high quality broadcasts of these events,” says Lee Meredith, the station’s vice president and general manger. “Turner Sports developed a unique equipment package and production method that makes these broadcasts possible, and we are proud to have such great partners on this project,” Meredith continues.

“I was very pleased that Lee Meredith, came to us with this idea for an important partnership,” says Richard Ranta, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. “It offers not only the valuable experience of shooting a live sporting event, but also a paid internship that provides the students with additional money to help maintain their education,” Ranta continues.

Although the high school football season ends this Friday, November 2nd, when the Hamilton Wildcats play the Germantown Red Devils, Craten Armmer, the station’s executive producer, is negotiating broadcast rights to a first round playoff game on November 9, as well as Memphis City and Shelby County schools’ basketball games for the 2007-08 season.

“If negotiations go as planned, the program will likely continue until the high school basketball season ends in mid February,” Armmer says.

The idea for Web-casting high school sporting events was the brainchild of Raycom Media and Turner Broadcasting. WMC-TV5 is one of only 6 stations (out of 40) that were given a “field production kit,” and so far, WMC-TV has been the most successful.

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