Monday, November 15, 2010

ESPN3: A new way to watch Syracuse Orange athletics

Fans excited to see University's mens basketball team face Northern Iowa on opening day of the basketball season may have had trouble finding the game on TV. And with good reason.
Mainly because the game wasn't broadcast on a traditional TV network. The game (and several others this season) can only be found online on ESPN's online station
ESPN3 (formerly known as ESPN360) was introduced all the way back in 2006. The network broadcast every game of World Cup 2006 in Germany for anyone with an internet connection for free. Since then, the has undertaken some changes that make the viewing experience better for some and worse for others. The majority of the games are NCAA football and basketball but, you can also find European soccer, NBA, Euroleague basketball and even sailing.

Here are a couple pros and cons for the station.

1) People who cannot catch a game live can watch a replay: PRO

T best part of ESPN3 is the ability to watch any game they broadcast for a couple days after the live broadcast. Not only can you watch the game, but if you are able to avoid all mentions of the score the viewing experience will be as close to the live thing as possible.

2) Not every internet service provider carries the channel AND it must be fast: CON

By far the most frustrating thing about ESPN3 is that each internet service provider has to make a deal with ESPN for their subscribers to have access to the games. This is incredibly frustrating if the only way to see a game is blocked by something you have no control over. The good news is more and more ISP's, like Time Warner recently, are making deals to provide the service.

3) Colleges have automatic access to the service: PRO

Since most of the contests available on ESPN3 are college games, it makes sense to let the students watch their teams play. It also helps the normal college student that sleeps until 4 p.m. on Saturday's to be able to wake up and watch his team's noon game without knowing the score.

4) Watching the game on a computer monitor is not the same as a HD tv: CON

Whether you're used to watching sports at home on a widescreen HD television or at a bar with a group of friends, watching on a television monitor just isn't the same. True, some tech inclined people can transfer the game to larger screens but the quality of the game just isn't the same.