Quarter Moon Productions is expanding its footprint, its workforce and its business model. The San Antonio-based company is ramping up operations in advance of its fall roll out of a new television network that will focus on collegiate sports teams in the region, including the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Citywide Sports Network, or CSN, will launch with the 2017 collegiate football season. Its initial broadcast will be UTSA’s Sept. 16 home game against Southern.
In all, CSN plans to televise nearly a dozen college football games, including as many as eight featuring the Roadrunners, which are coming off of their first season under new head coach Frank Wilson and the program’s first bowl appearance.
“What we have is going to be unique. We are bringing all of these schools together. All of our games are going to be in prime time.
– CSN CEO Bob Wills”
The new network is also scheduled to broadcast football games involving three other San Antonio schools — St. Mary’s University, Trinity University and University of the Incarnate Word. Texas State is also expected to appear on the new network, as will other Texas schools that are playing against the five core universities.
“What we have is going to be unique,” said Quarter Moon CEO Bob Wills. “We are bringing all of these schools together.”
Those universities are going to get more valuable exposure during coveted broadcast windows.
“All of our games are going to be in prime time,” Wills said.
CSN, which has deals in place with multiple local affiliates — CW 35 and KCWX-TV — will also carry a total of 18 men’s and women’s college basketball games involving the same universities.
In anticipation of the September launch of CSN and other planned television projects, Quarter Moon Productions is expanding its Northwest Center headquarters and its studio space. It’s also hiring more than 20 new production personnel.
Quarter Moon will own the CSN broadcasts and sell most of the in-game advertising. It’s opened a new sales office to support the network’s advertising operations.
Erika Grimm, who previously worked for KENS-TV, has joined Quarter Moon as a partner in the company. She will serve as vice president of sales and marketing and oversee CSN’s sales and sponsorship staff.
Wills said he expects advertisers will gravitate to the broadcasts because of the local appeal.
“We are going to prove that local means more,” he said.
Quarter Moon, which produced UTSA’s first local football telecast in 2012, will have closer ties to the Roadrunners as it launches CSN. The Roadrunners’ former senior associate athletic director, Jim Goodman, has joined the new network as vice president of programming and development.
Goodman, who was part of the UTSA team that launched football in 2011, said, “I would challenge anyone to find another Conference USA school that has this sort of local television support. It doesn’t exist.”
Wills said UTSA also comes out a winner with its connection to the new network.
“They are going to have more games on [local] TV than they every have before,” he said. “We are going to be able to do more.”
Wills said one of the factors that prompted his decision to launch the new TV network was the lack of attention major outlets like ESPN, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are paying to leagues such as Conference USA and to programs like UTSA since the major conferences broke off and formed what’s now called the Power Five. That’s relegated teams outside the Power Five conferences to more appearances on internet-based carriers such as ESPN3 and the new Stadium.
Wills said that will change with the launch of CSN.
“What we are doing is very different,” Wills said. “Local fans want to watch their local teams.”
There is data to back that claim. Most of the local college football games Quarter Moon produced last season drew an average of 90,000 viewing households. Wills said those games often won their time period locally — even when up against nationally televised collegiate football.
“We are focusing on what people want to see here,” Wills said.