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The Voice of the Black Community


HBCU Gameday increases exposure
Published Friday, August 9, 2019
by Bonitta Best

The HBCU sports world is about to expand.

HBCU Gameday has signed a partnership agreement with Aspire TV to broadcast two of its online sports programs – “The No Huddle” and “HBCU 101” – on Saturdays this fall.

I’m sure most of you know by now that Aspire was created by former NBA great Magic Johnson and other investors. Yes, it has the usual black reruns, but also has some good black history programming as well as the showcasing of up and coming black talent.

One of the first things programmers did was incorporate black college sports into the lineup. While Division I HBCUs were getting most of the play elsewhere, Aspire partnered with the CIAA and the SIAC – DII conferences that rarely got televised.

A half-hour HBCU sports show highlighting the previous week’s games, starring sports broadcaster Stan Lewter and another co-host, ran for a few seasons. The irony is the show had finally gotten good before it was discontinued.

“This is a huge partnership with Aspire TV that allows HBCU Gameday to expand our platform to linear television,” founder Steven J. Gaither said. “It’s a logical step for us as a company, and we really anticipate that the fans will love having a show that adds context to the games that mean the most to them.”

“The No Huddle” began online as a weekly highlight show of all the major HBCU schools and conferences. The TV broadcast will include 30 minutes of nonstop action beginning on September 7 and ending on December 22.

But we also know that there’s much more to HBCUs than sports. That’s where “HBCU 101” comes in. It will showcase campus life away from the field and court.

The 17-episode, 30-minute program begins September 8 and is a joint production with “Yard Talk 101.”

“We are going to bring a lot of authentic content and features that will really ring true within the HBCU culture,” executive producer Wali Pitt said. “Our team has been around HBCUs for the majority of our lives, and we understand the nuance and differences that make black college football unique and special.”

In addition to HBCU Gameday, Aspire will televise five CIAA football games, beginning with the Down East Classic between Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State on September 8.

For Spectrum customers, Aspire is channel 185.

Long Ball Update

The Long Ball all-star team arrived safely in Vero Beach, Florida, on Monday to prepare for the RBI World Series.

The squad won its first game Monday night against Detroit but lost its next two. Fans can keep up with the series at www.milb.com. A nice article by Mackenzie Parker of Minor League Baseball is also on the website.

Long Ball President Pat James and staff started a fundraising campaign to cover the bus trip. Unfortunately, they had to use some of the funds from the upcoming end-of-season banquet to cover the deficit. A cash app has been created called $Longball09 to recoup the monies.

And finally, the weather has played havoc with the Long Ball postseason tournaments in Durham. The championship games had to be rescheduled again to August 12 at Durham Athletic Park. The junior team title game begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the senior team at 8:30 p.m.



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