FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Connecticut sports fans had something to cheer about Wednesday.
Sacred Heart University and television provider Frontier unveiled the new Vantage Sports Network and “CT Sports Now,” a half-hour show dedicated to all things athletic that is produced by Sacred Heart students.
“I’ve always been super interested in sports,” said Franco Micheo, a grad student who is the program’s producer. “This really gives me an opportunity to learn as we do it. I’ve learned a ton in the two months I’ve been here.”
The network, housed in the university's Martire Center, provides all-day coverage of everything from Yale University basketball to high school football rivalries across Connecticut’s 169 communities. “CT Sports Now,” the network’s signature show, is produced, written and directed by Sacred Heart graduate and undergraduate students, who also provide on-air commentary and anchor duties.
Launched on channels 600 and 1600 HD exclusively on Frontier, the Vantage Sports Network features the Sacred Heart show every weekday, said Paul Quick, Frontier’s senior vice president in Connecticut.
“This network is a unique opportunity to connect” with families and sports fans in the state, he said. “This will give parents an opportunity to see their kids play.”
In addition, it provides real-world skills for students from Sacred Heart's Sports Communication and Media program in the School of Communication and Media Arts, said university Provost Rupendra Paliwal.
Students intern at the station from 9 p.m. to midnight each weeknight to produce their show, said student Ian Baron, who took guests on a tour of the first-floor studio.
“Most of us get here at seven because we love it so much,” he said.
It’s no wonder: The television studio features six editing rooms, a motion capture lab and a studio with a set passed down from Linda Ellerbee’s former Nickelodeon show “Nick News.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes was on hand for Wednesday's big reveal and recalled his glory days as a young athlete.
“The older I get, the better I was,” he joked.
Noah Finz, a former WTNH anchor, is the new network’s on-air sports anchor. He said colleges around the state are excited by the new endeavor.
“We really want to be the voice of all sports in Connecticut,” he said.
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