Center Township — Homer Center A long-time broadcaster of high school football and basketball games has asked school districts to waive an agreement allowing sports webcasting organizations across the country to view school sporting events on the Internet. did.
The problem with Renda Broadcasting and Digital is the vague contract between Homer-Center and NFHS Network that bans other media from streaming videos of Wildcats games in the Memorial Field or High School Homer Dome Gymnasium. It is a rule of words. For decades, the render stations WCCS-AM, WDAD-AM, WQMU-FM, and WLCY-FM have become established as sports radio flagships throughout Homer Center and Indiana County.
Keeping pace with the growing popularity of online distribution of sports games and other entertainment, Mark Bertig, general manager of Render’s Indiana division, said the station will make a significant investment in video technology in 2020, soccer and basketball. Said that it has started a webcast streaming schedule. Similar to paid commercial ads running in radio games, renders sold ad time on the webcast to develop new revenue streams.
Last year, Bertig said NFHS representatives exempted the render from the rules and allowed him to broadcast football games. This year, he believes the NFHS will exercise its exclusivity.
“This is late for us. We have several contracts with advertising partners who are looking forward to radio and video at this school,” says Bertig. “So we’re going to hit a little.
“And in fact, it’s not whether the service is good or bad. Is it fair that we can’t compete? They’re excluding local businesses paying taxes in this county from their competitiveness. “
“I met with the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS) and talked about this. The person who gave me that permission last year is no longer working at the National Federation of State High Schools,” said high school principal Jody Rainey. I told the school board. “If they don’t respect it, it’s Mark’s concern.”
According to the provisions on the first page of the 11-page agreement school officials signed last year with parent company PlayOn, “Schools will allow third parties to stream regular season sporting events that are considered to compete with PlayOn’s activities. Not allowed “of NFHS.
The contract requires the Homer Center to pay NFHS $ 2,500 for its equipment and arranges the school to receive a portion of the NFHS advertising revenue starting in the fourth year of the five-year contract.
Bertig asked the school board to break the contract Wednesday night.
Vicky Smith, a member of the board of directors, said no one knew the monopoly terms of the deal, nor did he understand the impact on local radio broadcasters.
During the pandemic, “Everyone was scrambling … to find as many platforms as possible to serve the game to parents, grandparents, and general fans who would be restricted by attendance,” Bertig said. Said. “The NFHS has come and signed many contracts nationwide and is unknown to many boards of education. The wording of the contracts has monopoly rights that will harm us now and in the future. include.”
According to Bertig, the render has launched radio and online broadcasts. Some are simultaneous broadcasts and some have separate announcement teams. We have also set up a streaming webcast of the game beyond the limits of the four local stations.
“Last year we played about 25 video streaming games. In some cases we made video streaming only games … the radio wasn’t connected,” Bertig said. “Well, fast-forwarding, we’ll be blocked by these NFHS agreements. This is a national and state issue, and drilling down to the local level is starting to hurt small and medium-sized broadcasters. “
He refused to compare the revenue of traditional radio ads with the cash stream of newly used webcast ads.
“Last year we were investing in equipment and trying to help the school with streaming components, so everything was done very quickly,” he said. “In general, not just sports, digital is the fastest growing part of our business in a way that goes beyond digital streaming, and it will continue to grow.”
According to Bertig, the NFHS makes money by selling subscriptions to sports viewers.
Some members of the school board did not respond to Bertig’s request and sympathized with the plight of the radio station, while others hesitated to break the NFHS network contract.
Some said the district couldn’t afford the $ 5,000 early termination fee required by the NFHS ($ 2,500 to remove wired webcasting equipment on the soccer field and another $ 2,500 for the gym). ..
Others have said that the NFHS has an advantage over renders by streaming all sports contests at all levels of the gym, from national team basketball to junior high school volleyball.
“What do we do for junior parents who want to watch the volleyball game?” Said James McLaughlin. “I think the challenge is that people are used to it.”
“It was the first time they had something because volleyball wasn’t on the radio,” said board member Michael Schmidt.
However, the NFHS does not have a paid announcer to call live games published online. Some games appear completely silent. Others are webcasts using the loudspeaker’s play and the ambient audio of the scoring account.
Bertig said broadcasters’ associations across the state and across the country are urging lawmakers to pass the bill “to protect small businesses like us.” He said Rep. Jim Struzzi of R-Indiana heard the petition for the render, but Harrisburg has not yet submitted a bill. The Oklahoma Parliament has been overwhelmingly passed, and the governor has signed a move to allow video streaming by visiting the team’s webcasters on sites where the home team has an exclusive contract with NFHS, Bertig said. ..
Currently, the deal will prevent renders as “Voice of Homer Center Sports” from streaming games at United High School, which also has a contract with NFHS.
According to Bertig, the broadcaster’s mission is not to shut down the NFHS network.
“I’m not against the NFHS …. all we want to do is compete,” he said. “If we can add local content and flavors to the NFHS, which lacks play-by-play components, we can seize the opportunity.”
What happened at the Homer Center is a sign of what happened elsewhere, Bertig said.
“I feel that there are many stations that don’t know where to be hit by trucks,” says Bertig. “We are all challenged enough in this current environment, so we don’t have to be locked out by domestic competitors who do nothing at all to benefit our communities.”
For other projects, Homer Center Board of Education:
• Quaker Sales has accepted a $ 63,500 school campus pavement bid.
• Renewed a contract to hire Pittsburgh regional attorney Daniel Cooper as a district solicitor for 2021-22 for $ 80 per hour and $ 20 one way to the district office.
• During the 2021-22 academic year, a 2.75 percent salary increase was approved for the central office secretary.
• Excuse the local tax collector to collect $ 273.68 of delinquent income tax payable by unspecified district residents.
• Approved an extension of the 2020-21 school year tuition arrangement in Indiana’s New Story for primary school education planning.
• The Erin Hilderbrand has approved the use of the Elementary School Library for the summer library program from 9 am to 2 pm on July 19th and August 11th.
• For nine days in July, Bethany Genchur and kindergarten teachers allowed four elementary school rooms to be used for the ABC’s & Me program.
• Genchur was allowed to use the elementary school library and computer room in the Summer Blast K-6 program in July.
• Louise Daniels has made summer music lessons available in the elementary school music room for six days this summer.
• Granted Christie Boyda and Homer City Parks and Recreation permission to use the high school gym for the men’s and women’s national team basketball summer league from 7 pm to 10 pm for the 10 days of June and July. I did.
• Going back from June 7th to 11th, we approved Matthew Wilson, Head of Maintenance, for a five-day unpaid leave.
• Approved a contract with Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit No. 28 for AED services at a cost of $ 428 from 2021 to 22.