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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

John Walters Joins Staff, To Launch In Fall

Release: 04/13/2012
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AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State Athletics Department announced today the hiring of ABC5 Sports Director John Walters as its Director of Broadcast Programming. Walters will be lead reporter for the department’s new digital network (, which launches later this summer.

“Hiring John (Walters) as the face and reporter for this breakthrough venture is a significant step in the successful launch of,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. “Combining John’s professional reputation as an award-winning sportscaster in our state, plus his familiarity with our program and fan base, gives instant credibility.”

Walters, a three-time State of Iowa “Sportscaster of the Year,” has been the school’s play-by-play radio announcer for football and men’s basketball since 2003. Prior to that, he called games for the Cyclone Television Network. Walters has hosted coaches’ shows since 1996.

The athletics department will utilize to deliver live sporting events and extensive on-demand programming in a significantly enhanced fashion to a global audience. The digital network will feature improved video content previously distributed through the Clone Zone on

Beyond upgrading the production quality of live events, will also create and distribute exclusive feature content by capitalizing on the skills of Walters. On demand programming will run year-around and include features, news conferences, hit tapes, media days, training camp coverage, pre-game shows, classic games and much more.

“The creation of positions our department to deliver a wide range of exclusive content to nearly anyone with an internet connection,” Pollard said. “We’ll be a mouse click away for most Iowa Staters to engage with Cyclone Athletics any time they wish.”

The network’s first live athletics event will be in September, but extensive football training camp coverage starts in August. A subscription to will cost $9.95 per month or $79.95 yearly. The annual subscription is a savings of nearly $40 (compared to purchasing 12 separate monthly subscriptions).

The concept of delivering college athletics content through a digital network gained traction in the last year as the Big 12 decided to allow its member institutions to distribute some third-tier programming in football and men’s basketball. The digital network will take advantage of the Big 12’s flexible broadcasting rights agreements, which allow league schools to distribute events not chosen for broadcast by its media partners.

At least one football game and a number of men’s basketball games will be distributed via annually. Most home events in volleyball, women’s basketball, wrestling and gymnastics will also be available on the digital network.

More details on programming and technical requirements will be announced in the coming months. An online sign-up option on will be activated in July. Current members of the Clone Zone will retain their same login information. Those accounts will be automatically transferred to the platform when it is launched.

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