Glass City Classic to Air on BCSN
Earlier this year, Alex Scheer, captain of the Tol...
Earlier this year, Alex Scheer, captain of the Toledo Firebolts (Toledo, OH) contacted the Buckeye College Sports Network in hopes of airing the first quidditch match on television. After doing their research on the sport, BCSN agreed to air a best-of-three series featuring the University of Toledo team against their rivals at Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) on Sunday, January 13. This Sunday, the network will air and stream the Glass City Classic tournament, hosted by Toledo, solidifying the first quidditch television partnership, leaving many players and fans alike wondering what lies in the future of broadcasting quidditch.
Snitch Jacob Heppe dodges an attempted snatch in the first televised quidditch series, on BCSN. BCSN will air matches this weekend from the Glass City Quidditch Classic | Photo by Kristi Chapman
“BCSN is incredibly excited,” Alexis Moody, IQA Video Manager and former BGSU captain, said. “They came in, did their homework, and put on a great program.”
Despite the network's enthusiasm, preparing for the broadcast has proved to be no easy task. As the first program of its kind, Moody described it as a “different kind of logistical nightmare” than what organizers usually face. “You have no idea until it happens what teams will advance [when broadcasting a tournament],” Moody said. “It's hard to promote that. You can anticipate, of course…but we'll see what happens.”
Once BCSN decided to air a few games with his team, Scheer worked with the network and teammates to provide the best possible start for televised quidditch. “There was a lot to do to get on TV,” Scheer said. “We had to go over full rosters, down to location details, to specific time frames, and even the equipment.”
Following the initial broadcast's success, the Glass City Classic will be available both to those in the area who receive the channel at 9:30 pm EST on Sunday, February 3--the day after the tournament--and also live streaming
on their website at 1:30 am EST. “It's completely, 100 percent a sports broadcast,” Moody said. “It's taken very seriously.”
Since playing on BCSN, where quidditch fans from all over as well as many who were unfamiliar with the sport watched the matches, Scheer said he has enjoyed seeing the variety of reactions within the community.
“We got a little bit more attention,” Scheer said. “People would walk up to me and tell me they saw us playing on TV, and that it was cool; others, like at most campuses, scoffed and mocked us…I think it will be a good springboard for advancing our team within the college community, and gather more interest in days to come, especially seeing how this broadcast is making the game more legitimate.”
Now fans and players alike are wondering what's in store for quidditch in the realm of television in other regions. According to Moody, nothing immediate is in the works as far as official sports broadcasting is concerned. Time Warner recently taped matches between University of California Los Angeles (Los Angles, CA) and University of Southern California (Los Angles, CA), which are “going to be buffered and interceded with interviews” as a human-interest piece. With the number of quidditch teams and the sport's fan base rapidly expanding, Moody said the dream of catching a quidditch match on regular television could one day become a reality. “What TV stations bring in for us is a level of legitimacy that we didn't have before,” Moody said. “We could start shopping this around to other stations and see what happens—to get the word out that this is a viable market.”
For this year's World Cup, the IQA will be creating video content for their YouTube page
, but no networks are scheduled to air the matches.
“[The process will] not be fast,” Moody said. “There's no ESPN for World Cup. We're already pretty set on our video. Our goal would be to get on some sort of national channel, like [a] Big 10 network or a CBS Sports or Fox Sports affiliate—a small scale [outlet], but a lot of people would see it.”
Until more networks begin showing quidditch games, Ohio residents and quidditch fans anywhere with an internet connection can continue tuning in to BCSN streaming as they continue to broadcast BGSU and other local teams.
“Overall, this was a great experience, and the quidditch community responded amazingly,” Scheer said. “BCSN did a wonderful job, and I know that they have found this avenue, and someone at BCSN should get a raise, because they took a chance and succeeded with quidditch.”
This experience was meaningful for Scheer and his team: “We are extremely grateful to be the first to represent the IQA on television, and to have it happen with our biggest rivals and best friends, it couldn't have been a better afternoon.” He continued, “The idea of being the first to represent the IQA and the Midwest was amazing, especially being one of the youngest official teams in the Midwest. It was, personally, a very unique honor and opportunity, to not only show the world this sport, but to tell everyone that good things are happening for quidditch in the Midwest Region and in Ohio.”