First there was ESPN, the first network devoted to 24/7 sports coverage. Then came conference-specific networks at the college level: The Big Ten Network, the Pac-12 Network and soon, the SEC Network. Even individual colleges have their own networks.
Now high schools are getting in on the action.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and PlayOn! Sports (PlayOn) plan to create and launch the NFHS Network, an all-digital network devoted to coverage of high school sports through the Federation's state association members.
Each of the 51 NFHS state association members has the opportunity to join the NFHS Network to showcase its high schools, student-athletes and tournaments. Individual states would continue to maintain local media relationships, but the NFHS Network will become the largest aggregated destination for coverage of high school sports in the country.
According to the NFHS, nearly 50 million Americans identify themselves as high school sports fans. Nationally, high school sporting events draw three times the attendance of college and pro sporting events combined.
This new network hopes to capitalize on that large audience-base and provide fans with a new way to connect to high school sports action.
Access to the content will require a subscription. Pricing information was not yet available. However, NFHSNetwork.com is already up and running. Sure, there's no content just yet, but there is a timer counting down each second until the network's launch this summer. We're only 34 days away.
The NFHS Network Summary:
Who: NFHS and PlayOn! Sports will launch the network which will cover as many as 19,000 high schools.What: All-digital, subscription-based network.Where: Subscribers to the network (NFHSnetwork.com) could access content anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.Why: "To provide viewership opportunities for fans of high school athletics all over the country."When: The network has an anticipated start date at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.