Media Center relaunches sports broadcasting

Written by: Regina Tran

Early September of this year, the Media Center (MC) on San Antonio Road relaunched their sports program, MC Sports, with the Gunn vs. Carlmont football game. A little over four years ago, MC Sports was discontinued due to budget cuts.

The relaunch of the MC Sports program was intended to give various opportunities to the Palo Alto community, not just students. “We wanted to give high school and middle school students an opportunity to work in a professional environment,” Alley said, “and to give an opportunity [for schools] to showcase their sports programs, athletes to showcase their athletic ability, and give local businesses an opportunity to give back to the community.”

Chuck Alley, the current producer and director, decided to relaunch the MC Sports program about two or three months ago. “We had a mobile production truck that sat unused for over four years,” Alley said. “We talked about doing a local sports program with [high school and middle school] student volunteers.”

Gunn senior Kirsten Baird and Palo Alto High School (Paly) senior Ethan Cohen were involved early on in the process and reached out to others. “We had students from Paly and Gunn High School that were interested in the starting and being a part of a sports program and from there we started networking through them,” Alley said.

Baird’s friend from Paly asked her to join the program because of her interest in broadcasting sports and her experience in working with Titan Broadcast Network. Overall, Baird feels that it has been a great experience expanding her interests outside of school. “[The Media Center] has given me the opportunity to continue broadcast journalism outside of school,” she said. “It’s really fun working in a production truck at sporting events with other high school students. It is wonderful for students interested in film and sports and it’s great that it brings the community together through sports.”

According to Alley, the whole process of funding and recruiting for the relaunched sports program took about two to three months, beginning around early July. His team already had the concept and idea in their head and worked from there. The program is also currently receiving funds from businesses and families. “We’re still in the process of getting additional funding,” Alley said. “Some parents have stepped up, there are a couple of local businesses sponsoring us, and there are more arrangements that have not yet been finalized. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) and all donations are fully tax deductible.”

The Media Center plans to air local community sports, focusing on high school sports, and hopes to expand and televise other organizations, such as Little League Baseball. Alley also said that there was some discussion of airing the Senior Olympics in California in 2013, which will mostly be held at Stanford.

In the future, the MC Sports program hopes to air over 80 games in the span of one year—about two games a week. “We are hoping that at some point we’ll be able to televise other sports such as swimming, track and field, the California Senior Games, etc.—sports that don’t get a lot of television coverage locally,” Alley said. “We’ve just identified a few games at this point to launch the program. The main thing right now is to make MC Sports Program sustainable, and that will take a bit more funding.”

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