Big Ten Network Tests Instagram Video for Reporting Football

Sports channel is early adopter

The Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart, who has been a college football writer since 1990, this month can add "social video journalist" to his resume—he has been shooting dozens of Instagram videos as he attends gridiron practices throughout the conference's Midwestern footprint. Dienhart's one of the first journos to employ the nascent, 15-second videos feature on Instagram, which has attracted millions of users with its photo-sharing capabilities since 2010.

So if you want to catch a glimpse of Michigan's linemen digging into the trenches or briefly watch Wisconsin's running backs work on their change-of-direction, among many other viewing options, Dienhart's Instagram account is the place to go. He began posting the videos on Aug. 7 as his network set out on its Big Ten fall camp tour. Dienhart's attracted 69 Instagram followers so far, but believes the videos have potential to become a bigger piece of the BTN's social-media strategy.

"They are easy-to-digest snippets that give an inside look at these training camps," explained Dienhart. "It's a way of pulling back the curtain, so to speak. A lot of these practices are closed to normal media."

But being an in-house network for the conference, BTN reporters get more access than the dailies for most of the Big Ten teams. "For a lot of fans, this is the only chance to see their team in a practice environment," he added.

Meanwhile, check out a lively clip from an Indiana Hoosiers practice, courtesy of the veteran sports scribe:

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