Two college basketball reporting veterans, Rob Dauster and Jeff Goodman, have launched a new men’s basketball podcast network called The Field of 68.
From team-by-team analysis by former players and coaches to long-form storytelling, the network will look to fill what Dauster sees as a gap in hyper-local college basketball coverage for rabid fans. The network will include more than a dozen team-specific podcasts, as well as feature-oriented podcasts, and will include insiders like former Nebraska men’s coach Tim Miles and former Villanova forward Jason Fraser.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Front Office Sports: How did you come up with the idea for this network, and what has it been like building it from scratch?
Rob Dauster: We had a couple of different iterations of how we wanted it to look and finally set it on this idea that Jeff has a lot of great relationships in basketball, spanning all different levels, all different ages. He’s been doing this for like, 20 years, 25 years. So we kind of just tapped into the relationships that he has with people and found the right names to run some of these podcasts, and, you know, here we are.
FOS: What do you think is lacking in college basketball coverage across the board that you think that your network is going to fill?
RD: So the biggest thing for me is that it feels like a lot of the college basketball coverage is specifically towards, like, NBA draft picks. Like, ‘which one of these guys is going to end up being the big star of the NBA?’ ‘Which one of these guys are going to get the most eyeballs that they think we should be talking about?’ I do think it’s a little bit of the trend that we’re seeing in sports media.
There’s a lot of towns, and a lot of states, where college basketball is king. And it just feels like it’s been overlooked.
FOS: I do believe that this is an all-male staff. I am wondering if you’re concerned about any backlash with regards to an all-male staff?
RD: Definitely something that we had conversations about. When we initially started this, we were looking at doing just like beat writers. … We ran into some issues with exclusivity of contracts, and employers not wanting to give up podcasting rights, and then things along those lines.
And I think we had, of like a 15 program, we’d get four or five women on the list of people that we were going to try to target. But once we went toward the former-player route, it just kind of, well, there’s not much that we can do.
FOS: I would love if you could give some more detail about where you see the network going, in the next one year, three years, five years?
RD: So hopefully, by the end of the year, we turn it into something that’s profitable making enough advertising so that everybody can make a little money off it. … Our goal for year two and year three is to just start expanding.