Dragons find television home on newly branded WDAY'Z Xtra
MOORHEAD - The Dragons have found a television home on WDAY-TV's newly branded subchannel, WDAY'Z Xtra. As part of the deal, all six Minnesota State University Moorhead home football games this upcoming fall will be aired on Channel 6-3, now bein...
MOORHEAD – The Dragons have found a television home on WDAY-TV’s newly branded subchannel, WDAY’Z Xtra.
As part of the deal, all six Minnesota State University Moorhead home football games this upcoming fall will be aired on Channel 6-3, now being marketed as Xtra.
“I think it’s exciting, the idea of the local people being able to watch the local talent that they’ve seen on Friday night, to see that on Saturday,” MSUM head football coach Steve Laqua said.
The one-year package also includes 10 Dragons coaches shows and 11 home basketball doubleheaders that will be televised on Xtra.
“It’s huge for us to have live football and basketball games,” said Bill Marcil Jr., president and chief executive officer of Forum Communications Co. and publisher of The Forum. “MSUM, there’s something in the air here, there’s something going on.”
Forum Communications Co. owns WDAY-TV and The Forum newspaper.
The Dragons broadcasts will feature a student-only crew. MSUM purchased the air time from WDAY-TV for an estimated $37,000, athletic director Doug Peters said. Peters added the athletic department has already covered the cost of the air time through advertising sales.
“We’ve already hit that point where we’ve gone beyond covering that and adding resources to our athletic department,” he said.
The broadcasts can also be viewed on Midcontinent Communications on channel 596, WDAY.com, the Dragons website and the Dragons mobile app. All games will also have an audio-only stream that can be found on the Dragons website and mobile app.
The first Dragons coaches show is scheduled to air at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Xtra. Peters likes that the broadcast deal not only benefits athletics, but students at the school.
“It gives our students that real-world work experience,” he said. “We were able to create some synergy between athletics and the mass (communications) department as far as production of the games.”
MSUM was already doing broadcast-quality game productions during the last school year, Peters said. The only difference this year is that product will be distributed on a larger platform.
Stacey Anderson, the live events producer for WDAY, said partnering with MSUM is part of the effort to expand local sports coverage on Xtra. Nine high school football games are set to be aired this fall on the subchannel. Last season, WDAY televised 11 high school football games on the subchannel 6-3.
“I think more and more TV is becoming hyper local,” Anderson said. “The goal is to have as much local programming as we can. … High school local sports are drawing a lot of viewership right now.”
Xtra will air its first high school football game this season at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29 when Bismarck Century plays at Fargo Davies.
Peters hopes this is the start of a long-term partnership with WDAY-TV.