HARRISONBURG — The next step in the deal between the Colonial Athletic Association and FloSports is for both parties to ensure the product is primed for football season.
Week 1 contests for CAA members begin as early as Thursday, Aug. 29.
“We need to work with Flo to create the 50-game football schedule that’s going to be on Flo,” conference commissioner Joe D’Antonio said this past Friday while in Harrisonburg for the CAA softball championship. “That needs to be done sooner rather than later.”
To expedite the process, D’Antonio said the league planned to send FloSports a draft of that slate on Monday.
“We hope to know sooner rather than later what that schedule is going to look like,” D’Antonio said. “And specifically, our goal is to announce the football schedule [for FloSports] well before media day.”
CAA football media day is typically the third or fourth Tuesday of July.
When league members know what games FloSports has rights for or doesn’t have rights for, the schools can figure out what other entities can or cannot carry their home games. If FloSports has the rights, the school can’t make the game available in any other way, digitally, but can still put the game on local linear television.
James Madison University assistant athletic director for communications Kevin Warner has already said the Dukes plan to televise all six of their home football games this season on a regional sports network. In 2018, JMU put all five of its home games on one of three networks – NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington Plus or MASN.
D’Antonio said the conference and FloSports are working together to come up with the 50-game streaming schedule.
“I would say neither side has complete say,” D’Antonio said. “But we’re looking to work with them just as much as they’re looking to work with us. I think everyone understands there are unique circumstances that lie within the creation of any schedule and we’re certainly anticipating that they’re going to be good partners in that way and we want to be good partners in that way.”
Also ahead of kickoff for the upcoming season, the $12.50 per month (on a month-to-month basis) for a FloSports subscription will be available, according to D’Antonio.
“That is being built out right now,” D’Antonio said. “So when we launch the ability for our fans to subscribe, which will be in the mid-to-late July time period and it may or may not coincide with football media day, but it’ll be in that vicinity. That’s when you’ll be able to go on links on the CAA site as well as the institutional site and be able to sign up for the $12.50 per month price point.”
All of the CAA games streamed through FloSports will be productions of the schools, and D’Antonio said the league office is working with conference members to improve the quality of game presentations produced by the school.
“That is in the contract,” D’Antonio said. “The ante has been upped.”
JMU’s MadiZONE doesn’t have this problem issue the school already pumps money into its productions, but in the past other CAA schools haven’t made the financial commitment to its in-house live stream of events.
“If there’s going to be a game on Flo, you just can’t put a camera in the center of the field and go and back and forth like this,” D’Antonio said as he pretended to wave a camera from right to left with his hand. “That’s not going to fly anymore. That might fly on CAA.tv where you’re just watching the game, but if folks are paying a fee to watch the game, it needs to be a production and I am fully confident that our member institutions are aware of that and that the ante will be upped as it relates to the broadcast standards you’ll see on the institutional production that are being put on Flo.”