New Format Gives Aspiring Sportscasters and Producers Real-World Opportunities

Pitt-Johnstown

posted January 03, 2018


Pitt-Johnstown students operate all angles of sports broadcasts on MountainCast, via Stretch Internet. (Kayla Carr photo)

Pitt-Johnstown joined the ranks of Stretch Internet’s broadcasting partners this academic year, offering wide-ranging opportunities for student broadcasters and producers via online sports broadcasts.

In conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Pitt-Johnstown's MountainCast makes these athletic broadcasts available on multiple platforms, through custom applications on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Android TV.

“Students operate all angles of the sports broadcasting program, including play-by-play announcing, camera work, and graphics,” said Dr. Kristen Majocha, communication associate professor and faculty mentor for this program.

"My dream job is to broadcast sports for a major market network,” said Josh Briscoe, communication major.  “This program is helping me build my resume with a variety of sports and broadcasting positions."

"MountainCast has helped personalize my journey here.  I've been able to hold a leadership position, which has led to awards,” said Sarah Francowic, who majors in journalism and multimedia and digital culture, and minors in communication and writing. “I feel much better-prepared to sell my skill sets to future employers."

Humanities students Eric Bremier, Briscoe, Francowic, and Alexander Lindstrom make up the leadership team for MountainCast. These students are instructed by faculty and professionals on play-by-play and color commentary, camera work, graphics, sports writing, and broadcast production. Students provide the broadcasts, schedule and recruit talent, write the stories, and provide leadership for the program.

Dr. Majocha spent 10 years in radio broadcasting in the job market, working at stations such as WSHH in Pittsburgh, and WKST in New Castle. She attends every MountainCast broadcast and often travels to post-season away games.  Majocha assigns credits via the WUPJ Radio Practicum course and mentors the students in all aspects of the program.  

“Some students plan to broadcast sports for a living,” she said. “This program provides them with significant real-world experience that will help them achieve that goal.  Also, our partnership with the PSAC and Stretch Internet has brought our broadcast quality to state-wide standards with national exposure.”

All 18 PSAC members are Stretch Internet clients and any broadcasts on the Stretch platform are available on the aforementioned apps.

MountainCast began in 2010 due to a request by the athletics department to the Broadcast Journalism Practicum to internet stream all home sporting events in  volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and wrestling. 

A 2010 Presidential Mentorship grant provided the seed money to purchase the equipment for the endeavor. The program has grown to include the broadcasting platform of Stretch Internet with the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference (PSAC). 

Stretch Internet, founded in 2003 and based in Gilbert, Ariz., is the leading streaming provider in collegiate athletics, boasting partnerships with more than 500 schools and more than 30 conferences in North America.

Stretch has built a user-centric platform that complements HD video with live data, social media and a host of customizable features to deliver an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience across multiple channels.

broadcasters group

Stretch Internet student broadcasters (from left): Dom Grasso, Andrew Gray, Lucas Fetters, Sarah Francowic, Forest Tuttle, Eric Brimmeier, Zeke Beatty, and advisor Dr. Kristen Majocha. 
(Kayla Carr photo)