ESPN deal opens up doors for athletes and families

By Ted Ward, @Ted Ward_DE

With NCAA basketball and volleyball in full swing, the deal between the Missouri Valley Conference and ESPN 3 is also in effect.

The deal, announced in July, agrees to broadcast court sports — volleyball and basketball — and football through the 2023-24 academic year. 

“There are two separate deals in which one specifically is a deal designed for football coverage, while the other is designed to integrate all of our other athletic teams,” SIU Athletic Director Tommy Bell said. 

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The deal allows parents and friends of athletes at SIU to view the events from around the world. 

Volleyball sophomore outside hitter Nellie Fredriksson, from Sweden, said she likes the availability of the broadcast. 

“It’s exciting knowing that back home my family has the capability to watch us play and compete at a high level every game,” she said. 

However, not every place in the world can view SIU’s events. 

Sophomore defensive specialist Tara Routliffe, from Caledon, Ontario, said her family struggles to watch her matches back at home because of the lack of a good streaming signal. 

“Unfortunately my family can’t watch the games on a regular basis, which is upsetting, but they still support no matter what,” she said. 

However, families from the U.S. who are far away from Carbondale can view the events at home. 

Men’s basketball junior guard Mike Rodriguez, from Boston, said even though his family is watching, he feels no pressure to shine. 

“I’ve been playing this game my whole life, so it’s something I’m used to and it doesn’t bother me, but it’s great my family can watch us play,” he said. 

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TedWard_DE

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