While students and alumni cheered on the Yale football team at the Yale Bowl for Friday night’s game against Penn, parents and fans were able to watch the Bulldogs from the comfort of their living rooms.
In late August, the Ivy League Digital Network, a nine-channel network that live streams 34 Ivy League sports, expanded its partnership with NeuLion to include a streaming application for televisions. With the increase in coverage, Ivy League institutions are now able to broadcast live sports coverage through the ILDN application on AppleTV and Roku digital media players.
According to Ivy League Assistant Executive Director of Digital Media & Communications Matthew Panto, the decision to expand coverage was a unanimous decision of the league office, its member institutions and its network provider, NeuLion.
“Since the launch of ILDN over three years ago, many fans around the League have expressed their desire to be able to watch ILDN through a big screen experience,” Panto said. “Partnering with Apple TV and Roku gives the Ivy League the ability to reach out to that audience and a chance to watch ILDN through their platform preference.”
According to Associate Athletics Director of Strategic Communications at Columbia Alex Oberweger who used to work on the Ivy League Strategic Communications Committee, the League’s partnership with NeuLion began five years ago when the conference decided to create a single network to stream all eight institution’s athletic programs. Before the establishment of ILDN in 2013, each school had its own streaming platform.
In a press release, Executive Director of the Ivy League Robin Harris said the new partnership will continue the success of the ILDN and give fans more viewing options.
There will be no additional costs for the upgrade. Currently, an annual subscription to the ILDN costs $119.95.
Director of Multimedia and Production for Harvard Athletics Imry Halevi said the addition of the new applications is a direct result of feedback the League’s institutions received from their viewers.
“As technology continues to grow and expand, people want to be able to watch content wherever they are and on whatever platform they are using at any given moment,” Halevi said.
Oberweger agreed that fans and alumni, before the addition of AppleTV and Roku ILDN apps, were forced to watch games and matches on iPads, iPhones and computers on the HTML5 platform, which could be inconvenient. He said with the addition of the applications, fans who prefer to stream Ivy League athletics on their living room televisions are able to do so.
According to the Director of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics Communications Rick Bender, all eight Ivy schools were involved in the discussions of expansion throughout the process.
“The league is doing all it can to make the digital network and everything good about athletics in the Ivy League more accessible to sports fans,” Associate Athletics Director of Sports Publicity Steve Conn said. “Any other platforms that we can get our student athletes on is good for anybody.”
Bender said many people have already told him how excited they are to have ILDN on AppleTV and Roku and said he believes the ILDN television application legitimizes the Ivy League’s network.
“Folks will be more likely to delve into the ILDN, see the quality at which we are broadcasting our events and more likely subscribe to the network,” Bender said.
The Ivy League was established in 1954.