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Fresno State is making history with the first-ever Spanish college football broadcast

Fresno+State+players+celebrate+after+a+touchdown+against+Purdue+on+Sept.+2.+
Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics
Fresno State players celebrate after a touchdown against Purdue on Sept. 2.

For the first time in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history, today’s game against Eastern Washington University will be broadcast in Spanish, in the Central Valley where over 55% of the population is Hispanic.    

Fans will be able to watch a game fully in Spanish on Sept. 9 for the Fresno State home opener against Eastern Washington University. 

The university made the announcement last month. Jessi Losada, a six-time Emmy winner, is  the play-by-play announcer. 

Jessi Losada, play-by-play announcer for the Spanish broadcast. (Fox Deportes)

This is not Losada’s first rodeo when it comes to “firsts” in Spanish sportscasting. He was a part of the first Spanish NBA game in 2002, first Spanish Olympic telecast in 2004 and the first Spanish NFL game in 2010. He’s worked for Univision, NBA on TNT Latin America, Telemundo and now owns his own media company, Losada Media Partners. 

He talked with The Collegian and shared what a Spanish college football broadcast means for the Hispanic community and media. 

“I want to share with them [Hispanic population] that we’re very enthusiastic about it [Spanish broadcast],” Losada said. “I think it’ll be a great broadcast and that people will be very happy. I hope they tune in.”

Losada grew up watching college football and specifically took a liking to the University of Miami since he lived in that area. He has been able to cover football in the past for Fox Sports Spanish and rekindled that liking for college football. Now he feels very proud to be a part of the Spanish broadcast, he said. 

Univision initially came to Losada with the idea a couple of weeks ago. He said the call came from his “very good friend” Jose Elgorriaga, who works in the Fresno Univison Markert. Losada shared that he loved the idea and thought it was great. 

The broadcast is a partnership between Univision, Valley Children’s Healthcare and Fresno State. Leading the partnership was President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Dr. Todd Suntrapak, and Elgorriaga. 

Jiménez-Sandoval said that it’s “tremendous” that Fresno State is having the broadcast, he said that through the relationship that he has with Elgorriaga and Suntrapak. 

“I’m very much aware of the multicultural power of the valley,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “We are at the forefront of incorporating [and] celebrating culture with our Latino community.”

Losada said that a lot of preparation goes into a broadcast beforehand. He has to get familiar with players and their game styles in order to be ready come game time.

When Losada was starting out his career, the Spanish media market was very small. There was only one network, which was called Spanish International Network, that would later become Univision. He recalls starting his career in the Miami station and said that everything was “very small.” 

Now Univision is an enormous multi-billion dollar media outlet.  

“I think it’s a great thing, and hopefully it’s going to inspire more college teams to have a Spanish broadcast,” Losada said. 

Losada said he is excited to see the Bulldogs in action. He said the team has a lot of potential this season, and thinks that Fresno State will prevail against Eastern Washington. 

Losada shared some of the players that he is excited to see on the field. 

“I was very, very impressed with the way they looked against Purdue last week. So I like it. You know, Mikey [Keene], the quarterback, is phenomenal. I think he’s something else. And [Erik] Brooks, well, what can I say? I mean, he’s an extraordinary receiver. A small guy, but with an incredible ability,” Losada said

The Spanish live broadcast can be watched on UniMas and the Mountain West Network at 6 p.m. 

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