IHSAA forms own television network

Posted by RRR on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:51am | Page Views: 4,069

The Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) has announced that in 2010-11 it will begin producing and distributing its own television broadcasts of state championship events on what will be known as the IHSAA Championship Television Network.

In all, the IHSAA Championship Television Network will provide live coverage of a minimum of 21 state championship events annually featuring baseball, boys and girls basketball, football and volleyball.  Other live content will include the annual football and boys and girls basketball tournament pairings shows.  Additionally, boys and girls soccer, softball, boys and girls swimming and diving, along with individual and team wrestling will all be televised minimally on a tape-delayed basis.

Through the formation of a statewide, over-the-air, television distribution network, the IHSAA is poised to deliver the most state championship coverage, of the widest variety of sports, to the largest statewide audience.  The IHSAA looks forward to utilizing both traditional and emerging media to bring more high school programming to fans than has ever been available before in Indiana.

For 17 years (1978-1994), the IHSAA and WTTV-4 were synonymous with television viewers of Indiana high school sports.  That will be true again next year as the IHSAA and the Tribune Television Company which operates WTTV-4 and WXIN-59 (Indianapolis) have agreed to terms on a three-year deal to serve as the flagship station(s) for the IHSAA Championship Television Network.

“Channel 4, together with Fox 59 and IndySportsNation.com, is thrilled to be back in the game with the IHSAA in televising the high school state championships,” said Jerry Martin, Vice President General Manager. “We believe this to be a very innovative partnership which will help maximize the distribution and availability of the state championship events to sports fans throughout the state of Indiana.”

The IHSAA has also partnered with HomeTown Sports in a three-year agreement to produce and distribute IHSAA championship events.  HomeTown Sports, a division of HomeTown Television Corporation (Noblesville, IN) will be the “Official Production Partner of the IHSAA.”  It will produce broadcasts of the state championships in soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball, wrestling and swimming and diving. These events will air on WTTV-4 and HomeTown Sports Indiana, Channel 81 on the Comcast and Brighthouse cable network.

“The IHSAA’s vision of controlling its content is innovative,” comments Rick Vanderwielen, HomeTown’s President. “Using WTTV-4 as a flagship station, other regional affiliates and our Comcast/Brighthouse channel 81 as a broadcast distribution network assures most every Indiana home will find IHSAA state championships on television.” Tape-delayed replays of all IHSAA state championship broadcasts will be available year-round on HomeTown Sports Indiana.

“We are very excited to have WTTV-4 as the flagship distribution partner once again,” commented IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress.  “This agreement allows us to reach a maximum number of high school sports fans with our championship programming because of the large footprint WTTV-4 has in central Indiana.  Combine that with the addition of HomeTown Sports and television viewers throughout the state will have unprecedented access to IHSAA programming.”

The IHSAA has already begun the process of obtaining other over-the-air network partners in additional Indiana communities to round out statewide coverage.  The IHSAA is confident it will secure network partners/affiliates from those communities in the near term. A complete list of network partner/affiliates, along with the 2010-11 television broadcast schedule will be released in the coming months.

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