CBA Digital Network Draws Record-Views, National Recognition
May 11, 2022
The Christian Brothers Academy Digital Network (CBADN), the school’s student media team, continues to grow its audience each and every year.
While last year’s pandemic-ladened sports seasons made live streaming even more necessary, the CBADN grew in viewership this year, even with fans returning to the stands.
The network drew nearly 40,000 unique viewers between the fall and winter seasons, broadcasting all 11 home varsity basketball games, 11 varsity hockey games, five JV basketball games, and three varsity soccer games.
The two most-watched games for the CBADN this year came when two of the biggest basketball opponents visited the Varsity Gym: Marlboro and Red Bank Catholic. The Marlboro game had 5,500 viewers, while the RBC game drew 4,100 people.
The state champion hockey team’s home showdown with Delbarton saw over 3,000 viewers, while CBA Soccer’s sectional final game against Notre Dame had 3,500 fans tune in.
With Colts fans watching in bunches, it was no surprise that the CBADN was recognized in Mascot Media’s national broadcasting awards for 2021-2022. Senior Chris Ern earned the nation-wide “Broadcast Production Student MVP” for his work behind the scenes with the network. Ern worked 19 of the CBADN’s 31 games produced this year, jumping between cameraman, computer producer, and on-air commentator.
Along with Ern’s award, CBADN’s moderator Mr. Jason Lutz was named the national “Broadcast Teacher of the Year.” Mascot Media houses nearly 250 public and private school broadcasting channels.
“I bounced around each role as I worked the computer, camera, and commentated on a few games throughout my senior year,” Ern said. “Learning each position and how each role is essential in its own way to the overall livestream was truly the best way for me to learn even more about broadcasting.”
Ern, alongside Ryan Ragan ’22 and Tom Antonucci ’22, even produced CBADN’s first-ever audio broadcast of CBA Baseball this spring. While spring sports pose a challenge in manpower and scheduling, the group was excited to add a new skill and sport to their repertoire.
“Over the past two years, I had generated a wealth of experience in the fields of journalism and broadcasting,” Ragan said. “Going back even as recently as my freshman year, I don’t think that I ever could have imagined working on a broadcast, let alone getting on the mic. As I head off to college in the fall, I now know where my interests lie and I would like to continue broadcasting in college.”
Most CBADN broadcasted games include two student commentators, one student cameraman, and one student running the production computer – which manages the scoreboard and cuts highlights. When a full student crew is working, games on the CBADN try to mimic professional broadcasts as closely as possible, including running special halftime shows and producing a postgame report.
Sporting events are streamed to CBA Athletics’ LetsGoColts.com and the ColtsCenter mobile app, giving viewers at home and on-the-go an opportunity to tune in to a game.
Since its founding in February 2017, the CBA Digital Network has grown to encompass all student journalism and broadcasting at the Academy. The network now runs CBAStudentMedia.org, which houses articles and videos published by student reporters and columnists.
Chris Carrino ’22, who is one of the first four-year members of the network, will always remember his CBADN experiences as he heads off to college to pursue a broadcast journalism career.
“I think that the CBADN – and the role Mr. Lutz plays in it – is so unbelievably important to the Academy,” Carrino said. “It gives a one-of-a-kind opportunity to students like me who love sports and sports broadcasting. It was undoubtedly my favorite part of my CBA experience.”
Watch a special senior halftime show during the final basketball broadcast below.