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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University Athletics has announced a new three-year agreement with Stretch Internet to provide live and on-demand internet audio and video streaming along with other multimedia services.
The agreement will make Stretch Internet the official online audio/video provider for Bulldog Athletics and the personalized Bulldog Sports Network 'GameCentral' portal will give fans a comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate location for all live and on-demand FSU broadcasts and features.
As part of the agreement, Stretch Internet will provide live video, live audio, live chats, live blogs and live stats for Bulldog fans who reside all over the country and around the world. All will come within a single unified and custom-branded interface. The new agreement ends Ferris State's former five-year partnership with America One/B2 Networks.
The new partnership will provide live streaming audio and video for selected home football, basketball, hockey and volleyball contests. Video, which will be produced in conjunction with the university's Television and Digital Media Production Program, will be carried on a pay-per-view basis.
Additionally, free audio broadcasts will be provided for virtually every home and away football, basketball and hockey game, including all events scheduled to be broadcast live thru FSU's new local radio agreement with Sunny 97.3 FM.
The Bulldog Sports Network portal will include live and on-demand high-quality audio and video, complete and searchable up-to-date broadcast schedules, live in-game statistics along with live chat and live blog functionality.
Fans will be able to access the Bulldog Sports Network portal through www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com or by going directly to:
The Bulldog Sports Network will officially launch its own portal this weekend (Sept. 2-3) by carrying the Ferris State football season opener against Hillsdale along with three home volleyball matches from the FSU Invitational. The only volleyball match not slated to be carried will be Friday's second match (6 p.m.) due to overlapping Bulldog Football pregame coverage.
The Game Central portal can be a truly interactive experience for fans with live chat enabled for particular events. Users can quickly register for an account and chat away with other fans. Fans can search for the content and access it with a single click. They can also search by sport, school, and date to filter the results.
Additionally, the portal will display live game data and stats in an attractive interface for all home games and selected road events. The live game data and stats appear right next to the video/audio stream.
Game Central content is delivered via Flash 10, which has nearly a 95 percent market penetration rate. If fans can access video on sites such as YouTube, ESPN or Hulu, they can access the portal content. Better yet, by utilizing Flash, fans will enjoy the same experience across all platforms and browsers (PC or Mac, Explorer or Firefox, etc.).
Fans with iPhones and iPod Touches can watch or listen to live and on-demand content, provided there is 3G or 4G coverage. With Flash growing in use, more and more devices will be able to access the portal.
Streaming audio content will continue to be free of charge to end users with added usability via streaming to the iPhone platform – which includes iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices – and to Android and other mobile devices that support Flash. For the first time ever, archived versions of sporting events will be also be available, allowing access to fans who can't listen live. Additionally, the agreement allows for FSU Athletics to upload custom media content like student-athlete features, post-game interviews and coaches shows as podcasts.
Stretch Internet, based in Mesa, Ariz., was founded in 2003 by a former college athletics media relations professional who saw a need to provide affordable, high-quality streaming to college and university athletic departments. Stretch Internet now works with nearly 300 colleges and universities, high schools and professional sports organizations, with clients including UCLA, Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Utah. A devotion to utilizing the best streaming technology possible and providing a first-class presentation – backed by the best customer support in the business – have helped Stretch Internet become one of the largest streaming media specialists in the sports industry.