After more than two decades of broadcasts, more Flames fans will now be able to follow Liberty University sports action through the newly rebranded and expanded Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN).
Formerly the Flames Sports Network (FSN), LFSN will now broadcast athletics events to 80 million homes across the U.S., according to liberty.edu. The expanded coverage more than doubles the number of homes previously reached. Broadcasts can be seen on several national and regional platforms, including DIRECTV, Dish Network, ESPN3, Verizon Fios and AT&T U-Verse.
According to Norman Mintle, dean of the School of Communication & Creative Arts, the idea to launch a national network began in order to help Liberty move into the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“(Athletic Director Jeff) Barber … explained that we are ready for an invitation, but because of the small TV market we’re in, we don’t bring a large broadcast presence to a larger conference,” Mintle said.
Mintle and Barber pitched the idea to Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. in the fall of 2012 and later hosted a focus group with members of the executive board of the National Religious Broadcasters Network in February of 2013. According to Mintle, with feedback from the focus group, Liberty worked to launch the newly rebranded and expanded network.
According to liberty.edu. LFSN was launched Sept. 7 with coverage of the Flames football season opener.
LFSN on-air football analyst D.J. Jordan said the changes increase Liberty’s media presence.
“The rebranding enhances Liberty’s already stellar broadcast products and introduces our school and our teams to a much wider audience,” Jordan said. “The rebranding takes our quality to the next level of broadcast excellence by transitioning to full high definition and utilizing some of the best television production talent in the Mid-Atlantic region.”
LFSN will broadcast live coverage of games produced in high definition Saturdays throughout the year, according to liberty.edu. During the fall season, football, hockey, soccer or volleyball games will be featured during the LFSN “Game of the Week” program.
According to Mintle, more than 250 games will be produced for broadcast or streaming this school year.
In addition to the Saturday “Game of the Week” programs, LFSN plans to host a 30-minute college sports news and highlights show entitled “Game On!” in the next few months, according to Mintle.
According to Liberty’s athletics website, LFSN radio broadcasts originate out of Lynchburg as a part of the Victory FM radio network, which includes more than 25 affiliates that reach Virginia and much of North Carolina.
“Flames fans will benefit from the rebranding and expansion because our athletic broadcasts will be even better, and the wider exposure will bring more attention to our sports programs,” Jordan said. “This rebranding and expansion will raise our profile even more.”