Alabama High School Athletic Association members to see ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ streaming opportunities this year
The COVID-19 pandemic may very well limit attendance at live sporting events this coming academic year, however Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) member schools will now all be able to livestream their games and, at least partially, recoup lost ticket and other game day-related revenue.
AHSAA this week announced a new program that will enable its members that currently lack production capabilities to receive up to two free Pixellot automated production units for use in their primary sports venues.
The program is being offered by the NFHS Network, the national leader in streaming live and on-demand high school sports, and was created to assist schools facing revenue losses due to the virus.
The network has reportedly allocated more than $200 million in capital for the new nationwide project, which is only open to eligible schools whose state high school association is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The AHSAA was the first state association to join the network in 2013. Since that time, AHSAA member schools have received collectively more than $247,000 in revenue sharing from the NFHS Network, which ranks fourth nationally.
The Pixellot units are all-in-one video cameras and automated production solutions. Introduced to high schools three years ago, the units have quickly become an integral component of the NFHS Network’s offerings and allow every event to be streamed live without requiring personnel to produce the games, thereby eliminating the operational strain created by manual production.
In addition to the new program making these units available to any member schools that do not have them, the NFHS Network will also be assisting member schools by increasing subscription revenue sharing effective August 1.
In a statement, NFHS Network CEO Mark Koski outlined that the network is committed to supporting schools through these unprecedented times.
“We recognize that the next several years will be challenging for our high schools and state associations,” said Koski. “Many are facing budget cuts and reduced resources, and attendance at athletic and other school events may be restricted.”
“From the NFHS Network’s inception seven years ago, we have been driven by the goal to create a platform that showcases every high school event across every sport and every level of competition,” he added. “Consistent with this goal, we want the High School Support Program to demonstrate our continued commitment to help our partner schools manage through the inevitable complications created by COVID-19.”
AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese emphasized his appreciation of the NFHS Network’s efforts.
“The NFHS Network is offering a remarkable opportunity for our schools that are currently without automated production capabilities,” he advised. “As our schools grapple with reduced resources and the potential loss of event-related revenue, the NFHS Network’s High School Support Program can help to reduce COVID-19’s impact. I encourage our eligible schools to sign up for their free Pixellot units immediately.”
In addition to the free Pixellot equipment and revenue enhancements, the High School Support Program will further reportedly offer the ability for fans to directly make donations online to schools of their choosing through the NFHS Network’s platform beginning August 1.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our schools to modernize themselves with automated production capabilities for livestreaming athletics and other high school events—at no cost,” Savarese added. “We’re appreciative of the NFHS Network’s High School Support Program and encourage our eligible schools to take advantage of the free production units and enhanced revenue-sharing from streamed events.”
AHSAA member schools can access additional information and sign up to receive their free Pixellot units here.
“We’re excited for our schools to take part in the NFHS Network’s High School Support Program,” concluded Savarese. “Schools can benefit from the easy to use, fully automated production units to livestream sports events to their fans, allowing them to watch from anywhere. At the same time, revenue sharing from viewer subscriptions can help to offset losses in ticket sales, concessions, and more due to COVID-19. We’re appreciative of the valuable revenue stream being enabled through the program.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn