Aggies getting more coverage thanks to local entrepreneur

Logan’s Bob Stokes was an outstanding basketball player at Logan High, played the sport at Utah State University, earned a college degree in respiratory therapy and by the age of 22, in 1976, had founded Cache Valley Oxygen Company. But a longtime interest in video production led him to start another enterprise, now known as Cis-Com Digital Media. For several years that company has broadcast primarily high school sports events in Utah. Through a recent agreement with Utah State University Athletics Cis-Com will telecast 77 Aggie events annually, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball. Salt Lake City station CW30 will broadcast 15 of the football and basketball events live on statewide cable. Other events will be tape delayed on Comcast. “We started our company just before the Olympics,” Stokes said this week. “We started by creating a hotel TV network for the Olympics, then branched off with a local television station in Cedar City doing local sports. That’s where we met Gary Andersen, he was SUU’s head football coach at that time.” Stokes said that led to a contract with Comcast to produce high school sports broadcasts. He said Cis-Com has developed two larger “sprinter vans” and turned them into production studios on wheels that can be rolled up to a high school and soon be ready for a telecast of an event. “The last four years we’ve done about 180 events for Comcast each year and I think that’s how we got the attention of Utah State University.” said Stokes. “Our hope is to bring a more economical model to producing Aggie sports telecasts.” Cis-Com and a company in Salt Lake City, XXL Sports, jointly own the rights to the Aggies’ television sports productions. In addition to the company’s sprinter vans Cis-Com runs two large (45 to 48 foot) trucks, the Galaxy and the Eclipse. The Galaxy, which Cis-Com contracts out to ESPN, other networks and several college conferences, includes a high end Kaylpso video production switcher. Stokes said if local support grows Cis-Com could take the lower cost model of production on the road, broadcasting away games back to Utah. Cis-Com’s agreement with the Aggies includes responsibility for all production seen on Romney Stadium and the Smith Spectrum in-house jumbotron screens. “That is totally a separate operation, with separate cameras,” said Stokes. “We can’t share cameras because we’re going to television breaks, so another truck runs the jumbotron video.”

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