STILLWATER — With the unveiling of its online streaming site, Oklahoma State University became the latest Big 12 school to launch its own network for video content.
OSU officially launched the site, called OState.TV, on Tuesday.
The online network will include about 30 channels of content dealing with a range of areas of campus life, including arts and humanities, wellness and athletic events.
In addition to those channels, OSU also plans to stream some events live, beginning with a town hall meeting with Gov. Mary Fallin at OSU-Tulsa. That event is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The university also has plans to stream lectures from the upcoming TEDxOStateU event, and the university's Nov. 20 homecoming parade.
The site will give the university an effective way to reach students, employees, alumni and donors to the university, OSU President Burns Hargis said.
“We have a tremendous story to tell, and it's constantly changing,” Hargis said.
The university also will use the network as a teaching lab for students in the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications, Hargis said.
Those students will produce content for the site, including regular video projects for classroom work and a regular student-produced sports show.
The school's sports media program is highly regarded in the industry, Hargis said, with graduates going on to work at outlets such as ESPN.
University officials announced the project last year, and received clearance from the Board of Regents of Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges to spend up to $1 million each year to develop the network.
OSU also plans to use the site to broadcast certain athletic events.
For now, the university is mainly considering sports other than football and men's basketball, said OSU communications director Gary Shutt, who headed up the project. Broadcasts of both of those sports carry contract and license implications.
The university could broadcast other sports, including women's basketball, wrestling, soccer, baseball and softball, Shutt said.
“We want to do as many live events as we can,” he said.
The network is OSU's answer to a series of similar ventures at other universities. That list also includes the University of Texas' controversial Longhorn Network, a cable television station that exclusively carries content related to University of Texas athletics.
University of Oklahoma officials announced a similar arrangement earlier this month.
Through a partnership with Fox Sports, blocks of OU sports programming will air on various outlets, including Fox Sports Southwest and Fox College Sports.
But unlike OU's model, OSU's site will mix athletics with other nonathletic events, including performances and lectures, Hargis said.
The fact that OSU's network is an online-only outlet also represents a major difference from other similar ventures.
Eventually, Hargis said, the Web-only model will allow the university to reach users in high definition through a variety of devices, including tablet computers and smartphones. The university is working to get the OState.TV app approved by Apple, Hargis said.
“I think that digital format is, frankly, the future,” Hargis said.