January 29, 2009

Peach Belt Conference, Penn Atlantic to begin free internet broadcasting

AUGUSTA, GA - The Peach Belt Conference and its internet broadcasting partner Penn Atlantic have announced that beginning with games played on Monday, Feb. 2., all PBC games will be available for free.  Prior to this, games had been available on a pay-per-view basis but continued expansion at Penn Atlantic will allow all games to be viewed for free with revenues generated from advertising.

"This is a giant step forward for the Peach Belt Conference," said Commissioner David Brunk from the league office in Augusta, Ga. "From the beginning of our affiliation with Penn Atlantic, the goal has been to bring free broadcasts to fans of the Peach Belt Conference."

The Peach Belt Conference and Penn Atlantic began broadcasting games in November of 2007 with basketball games being available for $5.95 per broadcast.  Over the past two seasons, over 300 games have been carried live over the internet, including basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and softball.  10 of the 11 PBC schools currently carry all of their home games over the Penn Atlantic network. GSW broadcasts men's and women's basketball games at this time.

"We are very happy to be transitioning to a fully advertising-supported business model," said Mary Pennington, CEO of Penn Atlantic. "This allows us to offer these games to PBC fans for free.  The Peach Belt is our long-time partner and will be at the forefront of a number of enhancements we will be making in the coming months including a new video player and a new website that is more interactive and offers more real-time content to Peach Belt fans."

Beginning with the basketball games of Feb. 2., all broadcasts will be free and carried through Penn Atlantic, which offers one of the highest bitrates over the internet which offers a near broadcast-quality signal. 

"The product that Penn Atlantic produces is among the best available over the internet," said Brunk.  "And it will only get better with the new enhancements and technology that we will be bringing on-line in the coming months.  Fans will be able to see their favorite PBC teams like never before, having free broadcasts is just the beginning."

All games of the upcoming PBC Tournament in March from Aiken, S.C. will be free, as will every game of the PBC baseball tournament in May.  Many PBC schools will also carry select baseball and softball games this spring.  Fans can see the complete schedule of games at www.Peachbeltsports.tv

"The Peach Belt is one of our premier clients and are one of the first conferences whose broadcasts will become totally free," said Pennington. "This is the first step of many and we look forward to many productive years of working with the Peach Belt and its wonderful fan base."