College baseball's media distribution deal resembles more the JP era of SEC football as opposed to the shiny, wealthy new "EVERYTHING IS ON ESPN, PRETTY MUCH" model of football and basketball. Only 18 of the team's 55 regular season games will be shown on air, leaving RazorVision as the only viewing option for the other home Razorback baseball games.
There's just one little problem. RazorVision, well, as we sometimes say, occasionally has some opportunities.
Do a twitter search for "@jefflongUA razorvision" and the results aren't particularly friendly. It led Long to issue this tweet Saturday morning.
Apologize, working on Razorvision...it has been a challenge, we are working to correct the issues. Good news is SEC network Aug of 14— Jeff Long (@jefflongUA) February 15, 2014
Yes, the SEC Network will hopefully be a boon for college baseball, as not only will several games be televised on the network, but hopefully most other games will be available an an SEC Network app that works similar to WatchESPN (hopefully then we can watch sports like baseball on mobile devices).
But until then, we're stuck with RazorVision. And to be fair, RazorVision often does work very well and is typically a decent way of keeping up with non-televised sports, but it can be improved, and the good news is that the university is working to improve it. Specifically, they're currently working on completely upgrading their digital offerings.
Mike Waddell, Arkansas' Senior Associate AD who oversees RazorVision as well as several other production-oriented aspects of the department (and who has been great at interacting with fans on twitter, frequently answering questions and discussing ideas) went to twitter Sunday morning to discuss what Arkansas is doing to improve its digital offerings (below).
Basically, UA is working toward a redesign of their main website and a new set of Razorback apps that will be available in August, which they are expecting to be a significant improvement on what they currently offer, particularly on mobile. And hopefully this will all be a great complement to whatever the upcoming SEC Network app looks like.
What does that mean for RazorVision and this year's baseball season? It doesn't appear to be a whole lot. All we can hope for is that any technical glitches are worked out so it operates smoothly the rest of the year. Although the fact that UA is admitting that it's not working to their standards and they hope to fix it both in short term and in long term through a superior digital platform is a good thing.
Thanks for all of the feedback concerning our #Razorvision product and the technical challenges some of you have encountered this weekend...— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
We are aware of the frustration felt by Razorback fans when it comes to the RazorVision subscription and our digital product offering...— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
We are working on shoring up this product for the Spring of 2014 as our agreement w/ our current digital partner ends July 31, 2014.— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
We are currently working w/ a new partner to offer a more mobile friendly website with cutting-edge technology and a focus on live stats.— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
We will also launch a suite of new mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablets effective August 1st, 2014.— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
This all centers around a new, state of the art http://t.co/AGnxF50SCP which will be the anchor of the finest digital platforms in sports...— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
We are also making a significant commitment to the video production infrastructure to allow us to produce HD quality video presentations...— Mike Waddell (@mikewaddellUA) February 16, 2014
And speaking of the SEC Network, at what point should we start making contingency plans to move if the available cable carriers at my current address don't get the channel? Where I live, Cox is my only option for cable, and they currently don't have an agreement to carry the channel. This of course is not a sustainable way to live.
Yes, Cox, I will move to live in a place I get the SEC Network, but I'd really like not to have to move. Clock is ticking.
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- Video of Arkansas' Ceremony Honoring the Final Four Teams