UConn+, the University of Connecticut’s new sports-centric on-demand and live-streaming video platform, will make its anticipated debut today, Jan. 17.
The new service is a first-of-its-kind in college athletics to combine live and original content, and development of the new technology to run it has continued since the platform concept was first announced last November.
UConn+, which will immediately be available via web browsers at uconnplus.tv, will surface original and exclusive content to fans such as features, live events, profiles, coaches’ shows, highlights and other on-demand content. In March, it will be the exclusive outlet for live streaming of all home UConn baseball and softball home games.
The university’s partner in this endeavor, SIDEARM Sports, is continuing final technical development of new ‘over-the-top’ user interfaces for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku, which are nearing completion and expected to be available next month. A mobile-friendly UConn+ app also is in development.
“UConn already boasts championship programs and provides top-quality experiences in state-of-the-art venues for fans and student-athletes alike,” said David Benedict, Director of Athletics, in announcing the service in November. “With UConn+, we’re adding the capability to engage UConn Nation with exclusive feature content and live sports like never before. This platform will only strengthen our global brand and create more opportunities for success.”
While UConn will develop much of the programming internally – including coaches’ shows, press conferences and other mini-features – LEARFIELD Studios has placed production staff on the ground in Storrs supported by a central production team.
This dedicated crew will produce more in-depth feature programs, including content geared toward showcasing the various aspects of life as a student-athlete on campus like the popular series THE BREAKDOWN, a five-part mini-series about 2022 UConn Football training camp, and THE STANDARD, a new mini-series that offers an inside look at UConn women’s basketball. MARCHING ON is more recent periodic program keeping fans current on the UConn men’s basketball season, and several additional programs on new student-athletes, historical features, coaches interviews, and a series on UConn baseball are all in the works.
“UConn+ can be a game changer for the university,” said Tysen Kendig, UConn’s Vice President for Communications. “Content is unquestionably king, and our audiences increasingly have a thirst for more video, more features, and more multimodal, on-demand ways to consume it. UConn+ is changing the way we produce and deliver content.”
Beyond athletics, UConn+ also will spotlight non-sports programs. Initial programming concepts include a research magazine, a talk-show podcast about UConn people and programs, and health features. An interview series hosted by President Radenka Maric, “Worth Repeating,” is already in production with several episodes already having been released.