SBJ/September 1 - 7, 2003/E Sports

OCSN adds 16 schools to network

OCSN’s site is already up.

The Official College Sports Network has added 16 schools to its network of officially produced Web sites that now spans 145 college and university athletic departments, company President Jeff Cravens said.

Cravens said Iowa, St. John's, New Mexico, Yale and Chaminade are among the new schools signed on for the 2003-04 academic year. He said the additions speak to the network's growing and diversifying appeal in the face of increased competition (see New Media Networks targets football powers).

"It's an evolving medium, and we've got to keep working," Cravens said.

OCSN charges $5,000 for basic back-end and site management tools that allow its partner schools to operate and update their sites. Cravens said about 30 schools are customers of the basic package, introduced in April 2002. The remaining 115 schools pay from $15,000 to $25,000 for premium Web services, which include audio and video content management services through the College SportsPass product that OCSN offers in conjunction with RealNetworks Inc.

"We'd like to provide services to every athletic department and conference in the NCAA at all levels," Cravens said. "That's why we added the basic program to the premium offering, so we could have a viable alternative for schools of all sizes."

OCSN's premium partners also now will be able to use the company's newly launched Gametracker, which lets users follow real-time game action online via a graphical interface.

The enhanced real-time scoring capabilities made OCSN an easy choice for New Mexico, according to UNM associate athletic director Greg Remington.

OCSN has corporate offices in San Diego and Atlanta. Its network of schools now includes 54 percent of all NCAA Division I-A schools.

About half of the sites for the 16 additions are up and running. The rest are scheduled for launch by the middle of the month, Cravens said.

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Colleges, NCAA

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