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Spearheading the launch of an in-house radio and television production network in 2003, Voice Of The Bucs Jay Sandos continues his remarkable run as lead broadcaster for East Tennessee State University Athletics.
In its infancy, the Buccaneer Sports Network created, produced, edited and hosted two weekly television features, one a traditional coaches show featuring Buccaneer head coaches discussing the happenings within their programs, the other a magazine-style show titled Inside Buc Sports. The programs, hosted by Sandos, aired across the Tri-Cities and were also featured on Fox College Sports.
In 2006, the Buccaneer Sports Network innovated a paid streaming service to watch ETSU road games, while the Atlantic Sun, the Buccaneers conference at the time, would follow in the footsteps of those at BSN in creating ASun.TV, a similar service used for all of the league’s members. The two sides came together shortly after, having ETSU’s in-house network produce the league’s championships in 2007.
Sandos and the Buccaneer Sports Network continued to lead from the front as the years rolled on. In 2009, the group built a production trailer complete with capabilities to produce streamed games on the ESPN family of networks. Three years later, a full-time position was added to handle the growing demand for streaming content and productions brought to life on the school’s in-arena video boards. In 2015, another member was added to the BSN team as a graduate assistant position materialized, the role handling streaming broadcasts of Olympic sports in addition to radio studio production.
That same year, the Buccaneer Sports Network’s radio initiatives raised their profile, moving radio productions of football and men’s basketball games that had been broadcast with minimal bandwidth since the inception of the network to a 10,000-watt FM transmitter, expanding the reach of the second iteration of ETSU football and the powerhouse ETSU men’s basketball team tenfold.
A start-from-scratch endeavor, the Buccaneer Sports Network was at the center of a 2018 media rights deal that landed BSN’s offerings with Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, taking a once-penniless product to financial fortitude as part of a blockbuster deal that spanned a full decade and was valued at $15 million.
In recent years the network has continued to expand, adding two more full-time positions, a podcast hosted by Sandos and assistant director of broadcasting Mike Gallagher, an on-ground control room built by director of creative services Steven May capable of producing games taking place at on-campus venues remotely, as well as an NDI network that works in conjunction with the studio that allows May and his staff production capabilities for ETSU events from anywhere in the world.
Sandos continues to march on as the voice of ETSU football and men’s basketball across BSN’s network of stations, Gallagher serves as radio voice of ETSU women’s basketball and play-by-play for all video productions on ESPN’s streaming platforms, while May oversees streaming and video board production as well as technological advancement.
All radio broadcasts can be found on WXSM The Sports Monster, streaming broadcasts available on ESPN+, while Sandos & The Sidekick can be heard on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts and wherever you stream audio.
For more on the Buccaneer Sports Network, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the network link.