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Tech unveils plans for on-campus ACC network studios, broadcast facilities virginia tech board of visitors approves $10 million project, as tech readies for ACC network launch

Editor’s note: this story contains images of conceptual renderings. The design process is ongoing and further renderings will be released at a later date.

BLACKSBURG – the virginia tech board of visitors has approved plans for a $10 million investment in facilities, equipment and infrastructure on the tech athletics footprint of campus, as the hokies ready for the anticipated launch of the ACC network in 2019.

“this announcement represents a game-changing event for virginia tech athletics,” director of athletics whit babcock said.

“we are grateful to the board of visitors and president [timothy] sands for their willingness to undertake this partnership that will not only showcase the many great attributes of virginia tech and our athletics programs, but will also provide invaluable experience to tech students who aspire to pursue career opportunities in the broadcasting field.Board visitors

“we are making a significant investment today, while allowing ample room for growth and the incorporation of emerging technology in the years to come,” babcock continued. “this project will raise the visibility of our entire campus and the many impressive accomplishments of our students, faculty and coaches. It will also help showcase many of our programs that haven’t previously enjoyed substantial television exposure, in addition to giving fans increased access to all our teams’ games and events. From career development to recruiting, there are a myriad of benefits that this ambitious project will provide for virginia tech and our students.”

Plans currently call for the development of two identical linear network control rooms, including audio and replay suites, as well as state-of-the-art engineering, shading and edit suites.Virginia tech this facility will be housed in the current shott media center in the south end zone of lane stadium. These two control rooms have the ability to allow hokievision – the athletics department’s video staff – to produce simultaneously live virginia tech sporting events for the ESPNEWS, including the new linear ACC network set to launch in august 2019. In addition, the rooms can be used to produce ACC network extra digital broadcasts.

A second location on the first floor of lane stadium’s west side that currently houses a memorabilia area will be transformed into several additional studios, as well as another control room and audio suite. This location will be dedicated to exclusive hokievision productions for hokiesports.Com, in-venue videoboard features, special shows and announcements such as signing day live, in addition to future collaborative efforts with the virginia tech department of communications, a unit of the tech’s college of liberal arts and human sciences.Board visitors another key component of this project is the connection of fiber optic cable from tech’s athletics competition facilities back to hokievision’s central production hub and studios.

It is anticipated that, by the time the ACC network launches in august 2019, the number of student workers employed by hokievision will increase from 20 to approximately 100. Two former virginia tech students already have accepted full-time positions, as hokievision continues its preparations for the ACC network to become fully operational. Eric frey will serve as senior director of ACC network productions beginning in april. A 2007 virginia tech graduate school alum, frey will oversee all facets of virginia tech’s ACC network expansion and operations. He returns to hokievision after serving in the video production field at four different power 5 schools over the past 12 years.Virginia tech most recently, he oversaw SEC network productions at the university of arkansas.

Sam jones was promoted to the position of chief broadcast engineer earlier this year. He is working closely with brian walls (senior director, broadcast operations) and scott bradshaw (associate director, engineering) to ensure that virginia tech is up to linear broadcast standards before august 2019.