Broadcast Live From Phelps Stadium: Alumni and Parents Worldwide View Andover-Exeter Football Game Online

Last year a group of 35 Andover and Exeter alumni in Austin, Texas received quarterly updates, via telephone, on the status of the Andover-Exeter football game from Director of Regional Associations Richard Howe ’64. This past weekend, an estimated 2000 alumni and parents all around the world watched the nation’s oldest continuous football game live over the Internet. During last Saturday’s game, small gatherings of alumni in both Los Angeles and New York came together to view the game. They joined a total of 1460 individual computers that tuned in to watch the broadcast. On Thursday, another small group of alumni in San Francisco watched a DVD recording of the broadcast. The group in San Francisco opted against watching the game live as the difference in time translated to a broadcast start time of 10:50 a.m. instead of 1:50 p.m. According to Mr. Howe, the production of the broadcast came to a total cost of approximately $20,000. Parents and alumni that watched the game say that it was money well spent. “It was a great way both for people to reconnect with the school individually and for groups to reconnect together. We were all excited because it allowed alums to see what was going on on-campus,” said Steve Matloff ’91. Mr. Matloff hosted the alumni gathering in Los Angeles. About 15 people came to his West Hollywood condominium to watch the webcast. In his opinion, the event was a great success. “It turned into a really nice social event. We could watch the game as we talked… by the end, people were already asking when next year’s gathering would be,” he said. Although the Los Angeles gathering faced some problems pertaining to the speed of the connection, those attending the New York City gathering could not watch the broadcast at all as the firewall in place on the computer used for viewing blocked the stream. The gathering in New York City was organized by John James ’89 and held at The Princeton Club of New York. Those who were able to watch the game praised the quality of the broadcast. Dave Siddall, father of James Siddall ’07, said that he watches webcasts from government agencies regularly. After watching the broadcast on Saturday, he said he was impressed by the quality of the Andover-Exeter broadcast. “The Andover-Exeter game came through with substantially better resolution than I’m used to viewing on the Internet,” he said. He continued that “people were really impressed with the quality of the video and the student commentators were extremely professional.” In addition to Andover alumni and parents, Exeter alumni also tuned into the game. This was due in part to an effort by Exeter’s General Alumni Association to inform Exeter alumni about the webcast. The Office of Academy Resources hopes to continue broadcasting the football game in coming years. “We are very excited about the potential of this to involve alumni from around the country and the world in future years,” said Director of Communications Sharon Britton. Ms. Britton said that Exeter has said that it will share the costs in the future.