The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team is No. 1 in more ways than one. In 1953, a Nebraska/University of Oregon game was the first nationally televised college game (on NBC), and next Saturday, the University's game against San Jose State will be the first Division 1-A football game to be Webcast.
Bill Byrne, University of Nebraska director of athletics, says the Webcast is something he has been thinking about for some time as he has watched the technology on his PC and laptop become capable of showing video. "In the long run, I think we're going to be able to demonstrate to potential sponsors and others that there's a very viable market out there for college athletics, and we'll have a leg up."
The situation came about when ABC made the decision to televise a different Big 12 game, leaving the Cornhuskers' first step to a repeat national championship on the sidelines. Enter the Internet and FoxSports.com.
"It's an experiment, and we're going to see how it goes," says Danny Greenberg, senior vice president, FoxSports.com.
Greenberg adds that costs are relatively inexpensive compared with a television broadcast, mostly because the Webcast will be utilizing the in-stadium "Huskervision" system that feeds the scoreboard video. The audio will consist of a radio feed from Pinnacle Sports Network. The feed will be sent from the stadium via satellite to FoxSports.com in New York where real-time game stats, chats and even live polling will enhance the Webcast. "Internet usage isn't too high on a Saturday morning, so we should be able to reach those who want to watch."-K.K.