Southern Miss

Is Twitter the new home for Southern Miss football?

Southern Miss running back George Payne gets a first down as Marshall's Blake Keller defends on Oct. 29, 2016, Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss running back George Payne gets a first down as Marshall's Blake Keller defends on Oct. 29, 2016, Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. ttisbell@sunherald.com File

With TV money drying up for Conference USA, the league appears set to be part of a new venture involving Twitter and the merger of three media companies.

The financial impact will likely be minimal for the conference, but it should provide more access to streaming content for fans.

No network carried more Southern Miss football games over the last three years than the American Sports Network. A total of 15 USM games were shown on ASN, which is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. For the last three years, ASN was featured prominently on the C-USA broadcast schedule for football, basketball and baseball.

In March, it was rumored ASN was shutting down.

It turns out ASN was simply entering a new phase in its brief history.

ASN, 120 Sports and Campus Insiders are merging to form “STADIUM,” which was announced on Monday as the name of the new network.

The parties involved

ASN holds TV deals with several mid-major conferences, including the A-10, C-USA, Ivy League, MAC and Sun Belt. ASN content is broadcast on Sinclair-owned substations and on some regional cable networks. ASN’s games were also available through syndication on stations across the country, including WXXV on the Coast.

Campus Insiders, which carried the USM-UTEP football game on its web site last season, also has agreements with a handful of conferences, including the Mountain West.

The 120 Sports outfit is a web-based TV service that has agreements with Major League Baseball and the NHL for highlights.

STADIUM will likely feature many of the traits of those three media companies, but it remains to be seen what the final product will look like.

One thing we know for sure: You’ll have to access STADIUM’s live content free of charge on Twitter, which announced streaming deals with 16 content providers Monday.

Twitter’s role

Twitter live streamed Thursday night NFL games last season, but lost that deal to Amazon. On Monday, Twitter announced deals to stream content from Major League Baseball, the WNBA and PGA Tour.

At first glance, it appears that Twitter will be just one more platform to watch STADIUM.

It seems likely that STADIUM will still be available on Sinclair-owned stations and through syndication like ASN, but there’s no way to know until the roll out.

Campus Insiders can be watched on Sling TV — an over-the-top cable service available through apps and digital media players like Roku and Google Chromecast. STADIUM may simply replace Campus Insiders in the Sling TV lineup.

There are a lot of moving parts to this, but C-USA and the other mid-major conferences need as much help as they can get.

If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, you may want to sign up to watch USM football this season.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee

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