By NEMS Daily Journal
A Madison man, Keith Jasper, has turned his passion for the Buffalo Bills into a business opportunity he hopes will lead to broad networks of team-specific radio coverage for college football fans.
And he has begun with Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Daily Journal SEC beat writers Brad Locke and Parrish Alford are part of the Mississippi State and Ole Miss networks respectively with hour-long talk shows five days a week.
The shows are mostly “app driven” with free applications for iPhone and Android launched for MSU in September and for Ole Miss in November.
Live streaming of the network programming is also available at these websitesBulldogSportsRadio.com and RebelSportsRadio.com.
Jasper is the president of VSporto, the name for the family of networks he hopes will one day extend far beyond NCAA athletics.
His business partners are Kellen Farmer, director of programming, and Jim Carter III, director of technology.
VSporto has been more than five years in planning and development.
Jasper said his first experience with athletics internet media came when he was 14 years old and had the desire to follow the NFL career of former Mississippi State wide receiver Eric Moulds, then with the Bills.
He launched a website called BillsReport.com, and it grew into a credentialed news agency with 15 staff writers.
From BillsReport.com came the idea for VSporto.
“In my mind, I’m thinking of 211 teams, all the NCAA Division 1 teams, and the professional teams for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL,” Jasper said.
Fans can turn to the networks at any time to hear a continuous loop of the day’s shows, interviews with guests, coaches and athletes, and also access “on demand” links to past shows.
Alford and Locke can be heard daily at 7 a.m.
The networks will focus on major sports but will cover minor sports and other university news and activities as well.
With the Ole Miss and MSU networks operational, Jasper is looking east for Vsporto’s next growth.
“We want to go forward on a state-by-state basis. Going forward we think the next step will be Alabama and Auburn. We want to look at the teams that have the biggest and most passionate fan bases.”
Early response for Bulldog Sports Radio and Rebel Sports Radio has been strong, Jasper said. The MSU app ranks in the top 30 among iPhone sports apps.
“There’s been lots of positive feedback,” Jasper said. “The best email I’ve gotten has been from a guy somewhere in Mississippi working at a factory overnight. He says he listens to Rebel Sports Radio on the overnight shift, and that’s why we created it, for people like this who are not able to access coverage of their favorite teams.”