From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — The ways in which fans consume high school sports could be changing.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) announced Wednesday a new program that will enable its member schools to acquire equipment that will allow them to stream athletic events and other school activities for free.
The program is being offered by the NFHS Network in order to assist schools that could be facing restricted attendance at sporting events and other school-related events this academic year. AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said this opportunity could be significant for state high schools in light of the challenges created by COVID-19.
“The NFHS Network is offering a remarkable opportunity for our schools that are currently without automated production capabilities,” said Savarese. “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.”
Participating schools will receive two Pixellot automated production units that require no personnel to shoot or produce events. Below is a list of unit features:
- Auto-tracking enables cameras to follow the action (panning and zooming)
- No camera operator required
- Score graphics sync with venue scoreboard
- All events stream to branded school page on NFHSnetwork.com
- Each Pixellot unit can integrate with coaching software
According to the website, each camera unit is weatherproof.
“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,” said Savarese. “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.”
This program will offer the opportunity for fans to make donations online directly to schools of their choosing through the platform beginning Aug. 1, 2020. The NFHS Network will also be assisting schools by increasing its subscription revenue sharing.
“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,” said Savarese. “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.”