Providing local television programming for 55 sports can become a daunting task for one station.
Buckeye CableSystem's 24-hour channel — Buckeye Cable Sports Network — will be joined by a second 24-hour channel, BCSN 2, on Monday evening, exactly nine years after the launch of BCSN.
Veronica Pinciotti, general manager of local stations for Buckeye CableSystem, said there's room for a BCSN 2 on the local cable network. More significantly, they believe the success of BCSN shows there is an audience for a second channel dedicated exclusively to broadcasting local sports programming.
"We are adding 5-7 events every week so there will be around 300 additional games [broadcast] each year," Pinciotti said.
Buckeye CableSystem's multimillion dollar venture into dedicating one channel for broadcasting live and tape-delayed local sports 24/7 nearly a decade ago was a groundbreaking development. Such a venture had not been heard of, at least not in Ohio, before Buckeye CableSystem officials decided to give it a go.
It was well-received early on by Buckeye CableSystem subscribers who have been able to view a variety of sporting events ranging from high school, local colleges, as well as Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye contests.
"Over the past nine years we have covered 55 different sports," Pinciotti said.
Besides airing major high school sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and softball, BCSN has provided plenty of exposure to dozens of non-traditional sports. Lacrosse, rugby, sailing, sand volleyball, skate boarding, street hockey, broomball, roller derby, mixed martial arts, and sponge ball are among the many sports to hit the airwaves.
BCSN 2 will allow for more opportunities to air an even wider variety of sports, both live and tape-delayed.
"Both channels are 24/7 programming, all created by the BCSN team," Pinciotti said. "We will be scheduling two live events each day but there will be times during the school year when we will carry more, like on Saturday, when we have scheduled four live events — two for each channel."
Pinciotti said some of the programming for BCSN 2 is "still in the planning stages." Live call-in sports talk shows and taped sports talk shows could be part of the programming mix for the second local sports channel, which will utilize the current staff of full-time and part-time employees, as well as college interns, responsible for what airs on BCSN.
"Along with the 50 production crew members, there are 40 talent personalities and two dozen in-house staff members," Pinciotti said. "We have mentored hundreds of UT and BGSU students, many graduates have found careers here at BCSN."
As far as what attracts the most viewers to BCSN, Pinciotti explained it varies.
"Everyone loves high school football, but I would like it to be known that the free video-on-demand tracks, which events are replayed, and cheerleading and gymnastics always rate in the top 10 each month we cover them," Pinciotti said.
Block Communications Inc. is the parent company of The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem and BCSN and online channel BCSN.tv. BCSN has served as host for free sports camps for middle school and junior high students.
It has also provided more than $40,000 annually to local teachers and students in conjunction with the Student and Teacher of the Year programs.
"The Block family has always invested in community development, and this is just one of the areas where we get to benefit from their support," Pinciotti said. "From the initial equipment to the upgrade of all the technical aspects, to high definition two years ago, to now adding another channel is a remarkable multimillion dollar commitment."
BCSN 2 is scheduled to commence broadcasting at 7 p.m. Monday on Buckeye CableSystem channels 109 and 609 HD.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.