While high school sports have returned to action in many parts of the country, spectators have been limited at most schools. That’s where the NFHS Network stepped in to accommodate streaming video of games and events so that fans could watch from the safety of their own homes.
The program appears to have been a success, as Pixellot, the company that provides the technology for the network, announced last month that in the first four months of the 2020-2021 school year, total live views on the network doubled—from 1.1 million to more than 2.3 million.
NFHS Network viewership is based on an affordable subscription model that gives subscribers anytime, anywhere viewing capabilities. The service can be accessed across all smartphones, tablets, computers, and connected devices by visiting www.NFHSnetwork.com or by downloading the NFHS Network app.
“Our viewership is rising for indoor sports just as it did for football and other outdoor athletic events in the late summer and fall,” said Mark Koski, vice president of the NFHS Network. “Remote viewing is perhaps even more important for indoor activities. Our ability to provide a livestream solution for both outdoor and indoor athletics enables us to play a key role in fan viewership while generating an important revenue stream to schools.”
According to a press release, the NFHS Network has provided over 6,000 free Pixellot units through the High School Support Program since July, bringing the total number of automated production units at schools nationwide to more than 10,000. The Pixellot automated production solution allows every event to be streamed live without requiring personnel to produce the games, thereby eliminating the operational strain created by manual production.
Mountain Brook Schools is the K-12 public school system serving the city of Mountain Brook, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. The system’s Mountain Brook High School has utilized the NFHS Network for the last four years to livestream a wide range of both outdoor and indoor sporting events. The school has two Pixellot cameras.
“From the beginning, livestreaming sports over the NFHS Network has generated a lot of positive feedback from the families of our student-athletes, school alumni, and the community in general,” said Benny Eaves, director of Athletics for Mountain Brook City Schools. “With the pandemic, our fall football program was in uncharted territory with restricted attendance at games, and the Network was highly useful in ensuring that everyone could catch the action—including those who couldn’t be there in person. Now that we’re moving to indoor sports, our participation in the NFHS Network will be even more valuable. Our boys’ varsity basketball has been nationally ranked for the last several years, so there’s a lot of excitement for that in particular. It will be a huge benefit to enable fans to livestream basketball and other indoor sports this winter.”
The NFHS Network livestreams 27 different sports throughout the academic school year, including football, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, hockey, competitive cheer, and soccer. Additionally, the Network livestreams performing arts, graduations, award ceremonies, and other school events.
To date, the NFHS Network has distributed over $25 million back to schools and state associations through its subscription revenue-sharing model.