For years and years, we have dreamed to having the technology and the interest amongst the students to start our own radio or broadcasting club. It was thought that if our own students could produce and execute some coverage of our athletic events it would a great learning opportunity for our kids and also a great service to the community. Especially to those patrons who either cannot make it to a home event or live far away. Up until recently, this was only a dream or was given over to third-party vendors that make money off of our programs on their own.
Enter the internet age and the age of internet “streaming”. As online streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have become more and more popular it has become apparent that ANYONE with the right equipment and a strong internet signal can stream games. Fortunately, Jimtown has groups of kids that LOVE to do things such as this and have the technological skills and adult backing to make it happen for ourselves. Jimtown is lucky to have administrative staff that support this sort of hands on student learning. We are also lucky to have Steve Williams who has sponsored the Jimtown Broadcasting Club starting last year. The kids started out last year streaming some of our DECA events as well as our 2020 graduation ceremony this past summer. In addition, the long-time voice of the Jimmies, John Osbourne has agreed to work with us and our kids to help teach them how to do a good broadcast and also offer his own color commentary.
Not coincidentally, with the onslaught of the Covid 19 pandemic, the IHSAA has partnered with the NFHS network to allow small schools like Jimtown the opportunity to stream our own events very easily. This service is brought to the schools with already established software and technological backbone. They have a built-in pay-per-view structure which allow us to charge a small “ticket” to the viewer to watch the live stream. Interested viewers will be able to simply go to ihsaatv.org, on a computer, laptop, smart TV, or even a smartphone, log in and watch the game live much the same way that you watch Netflix at home.
I hope that patrons will understand why we are charging a ticket fee to watch the game online. For years we have given that stream away online for free. Now with the pandemic and limited amount of tickets that we can sell in person, this is a way that we can recoup some of the revenue lost to the pandemic. Football and Basketball are really the two sports that drive the athletic budgets in most schools. None of our operational funds comes from taxpayers, (large item hard facilities such as football fields, tracks and tennis courts are of course funded by the school corporation). The athletic department funds transportation, game equipment, referees and workers out of the only sources of revenue that we have available to us, tickets, concessions and fundraising.
We sincerely hope that parents, grandparents and other supporters of Jimtown High School see the fee for what it is….purchasing a ticket to a game to support the kids’ opportunities to have education-based athletics. Please also remember that if you came to a game, everyone in attendance would need to purchase a ticket. Conversely, if you purchase a ticket to an online game, there could be 10 people watching on one TV as far as we are concerned. Multiple viewers for 1 ticket price is a good deal.
Please pay attention for more specific information to come out next week. But if you plan on watching the games online, the site to remember is IHSAATV.org. You will search for Jimtown and the game will pop right up.