STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University will soon join the list of Big 12 Conference schools that are launching video networks.
OSU officials plan to launch an online video network next year. The network will stream some athletic events, as well as other content, such as performances and classroom activities.
University officials are excited about the possibilities the as-yet-unnamed network will bring, said Gary Shutt, OSU's director of communications.
Shutt, who is heading up the project, said OSU has contracts with the Big 12 that dictate how coverage of football and basketball games are handled. But other sports, such as baseball, soccer and wrestling, could be available for streaming, he said.
The site could also include other content surrounding football and basketball games, such as postgame interviews, he said. The university's athletics department already has some online video on its website, but the new site would include considerably more content, Shutt said.
On the academic side, Shutt said, the site could include coverage of campus concerts and plays, as well as prominent campus visits such as a recent one by former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.
At some point, he said, the university also could stream classroom lectures by OSU faculty members. That kind of content could be used in elementary and secondary school classrooms, Shutt said.
“There's just a whole host of things from the academic standpoint,” he said.
OSU is the latest in a series of Big 12 schools to announce and launch a video network. Earlier this month, the University of Missouri launched a similar site, called MizzouNet
In August, the University of Texas and ESPN launched Longhorn Network, a cable television station that exclusively carries content related to UT athletics. That content also is available online to anyone with a cable package that carries the Longhorn Network. The University of Oklahoma has expressed interest in establishing a similar network.
Shutt said a cable-based venture like the Longhorn Network wouldn't have worked for OSU.
Part of the reason for the web-based model is portability, Shutt said. By using a web-based platform, the university makes the content available to anyone via smart phones, laptops, tablet computers and desktop computers, he said.
Furthermore, he said, a cable network is expensive to operate. OSU would need to generate enough content to fill all hours of the day and night. A web-based model doesn't bring that demand with it, he said.
Boost online presence
“This is a more economical way to begin to get content,” he said. “You don't have to fill 24 hours a day.”
University officials hope to begin to produce video content for the website over the summer and launch the website in the fall. At the moment, Shutt said, university officials are looking for a vendor who would provide a Web platform for the site.
Last week, OSU officials got clearance from the OSU/A&M Board of Regents to spend up to $1 million each year to develop the network. During the meeting, OSU President Burns Hargis told the board the network is a part of an effort to boost the university's online presence.
More online content would allow the university to improve its visibility while bringing its instructional content to a wider audience, Hargis said. Providing educational material to the public at large would represent an expansion of the university's land-grant mission, he said.