The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

NEWMAC Sports to Move to Expensive Subscription Model

Photo courtesy of NEWMAC.

On Feb. 28, Clark Athletic Director Trish Cronin announced that the University, in conjunction with the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), would begin a five year partnership in fall 2024 with sports broadcaster FloSports. 

The deal with FloSports has the potential to bring both good and bad to fans of Clark athletics. Current Clark sports broadcasts are often subpar compared to other schools in the NEWMAC, having an amateur feel to them. Partnering with FloSports could potentially fix that. Each school in the conference currently runs their own sports broadcasts, which leads to wide variations in quality. On one side, there’s athletics departments with resources like those at Clark or Salve Regina University; on the other end of the spectrum, there’s comparatively ultra-wealthy MIT. But hey, at least watching your friends or family play their sport is free!

Going forward, fans of Clark sports will have to pay significant subscription fees to watch events. Fees will be $29.99 per month, or $360 for the whole year; fans can also purchase an entire year at once for a discounted rate of $150. Though students will have a significant discount, bringing the costs down closer to other streaming services, they will still have to pay $9.99 per month, or $69.99 for the 12 month discounted rate. 

Is this price reasonable for Division III sports? 

For comparison, access to the Big Ten Network costs $14.95 for all of their coverage, or $9.95 for coverage just related to one school. The student package is the same price one pays right now for comparable sports streaming services, such as ESPN+, which offer much more extensive sport offerings. Especially for families of athletes, forcing them to pay $29.99 per month is a big ask. 

“We are pleased that this partnership will provide Clark with a more accessible and enjoyable avenue for families and fans to follow our players and teams wherever they are competing,” read the Clark Athletics press release. It states that over ninety percent of the revenue generated by this agreement will go back to NEWMAC schools. Although NIL regulations have loosened, none of this revenue will go to student athletes directly. 

How will this Affect Attendance?

It remains to be seen how the FloSports deal will affect attendance at games. Many Clark athletics events fail to fill seats as the university struggles to attract fans to games (with a few exceptions, such as basketball). Making the sports more difficult to watch will likely not help this. On the other hand, if one really wants to watch a game, and the cost of watching it virtually is 30 dollars per month; perhaps the FloSports deal will actually cause some who would have watched from home to watch in person instead.

Rowan Compton ’25 is a member of the Clark swim & dive team. 

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