Final two days of JUCO will be televised

Jamie Hamilton wasn’t so sure when he saw the production equipment and a small crew televising a Mesa State College football game this past fall, but when he watched the broadcast of the game later, he came away impressed.

He was so impressed that he called the production company in Alamosa and ended up brokering a deal that will televise the final two games of this year’s Alpine Bank Junior College World Series on May 29 and 30.

The JUCO World Series begins May 23 at Suplizio Field.

“We were laughing that Rooks (Bryan Rooks, Mesa State’s assistant athletic director) had to get there early to get the TV production truck in,” Hamilton said. “We’ve done this before with (Prime Sports Network and CSTV) and it’s a truck.

“This minivan comes in with a satellite dish on the outside. I met one of the guys and then I watched the replay on Altitude and thought, ‘That was pretty good.’ ”

Hamilton contacted Paul Richards at KSPK-TV/Main Street Broadcasting in Alamosa, which produces football and basketball games for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and pitched the idea of televising JUCO.

“He said the biggest deal is seeing if we have anyplace to air it,” Hamilton said. “He made contact with Altitude and said he thought he could do something.”

Just before Christmas, Richards called Hamilton and told him Altitude was on board.

The NJCAA will pay half the $15,000 production cost and the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau is sponsoring the telecasts for the remainder of the cost.

“The good news is, it’s the Friday and Saturday games without changing anything,” Hamilton said. “The only caveat is on the Saturday game, it’s possible it could be tape delayed as much as an hour or hour and a half on Altitude 1, but it could be live on Altitude 2.”

Altitude 1 is available on cable in 10 western states, with Altitude 2 nationwide on satellite providers.

Dan Karcher, the play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Springs SkySox, the Rockies’ Class AAA affiliate, will call the JUCO games on TV.

“I’ve spoken with him and he’s looking forward to it,” Hamilton said. “It’ll focus a little bit more on Colorado and what we’re trying to do here, and finally it’s an expense we can handle with the sponsors to help us. It’s a nice deal. It’s such a good product and more people need to see it.”

Howard (Texas) College is still ranked No. 1 in this week’s NJCAA Division I poll with a 30-0 record. Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College is No. 2, followed by Yavapai (Ariz.) College,
Young Harris (Ga.) College and Miami (Fla.) Dade College.

Central Arizona College, Panola (Texas) College, Wallace State (Ala.)-Hanceville, Walters State (Tenn.) CC and Johnson County (Kan.) CC round out the top 10.


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