By: Karole L. White
MAB, President, CEO
Following up on last week’s MAB Newsletter article about high school sports. I want to urge you and your sports director to contact your high school AD, coaches, etc. to firm up your relationships and discuss any plans you have for your station to carry sporting events live on the air. If you have any problems, please let us know. The understanding of the NFSH contracts vary and may need MHSAA interpretation.
Several broadcasters across the nation are reporting that many schools are saying they have signed contracts with NFSH, but they are not aware of nor are they planning to impose any exclusion of local radio or TV stations from doing play by play because of their contract with NFSH.
There are indeed restrictions on the games that broadcasters can cover but according to MHSAA this does not impact the regular broadcast of games by local radio stations. It may however impact a radio station’s ability to stream the games on their website. This may vary a bit from school to school.
Be certain that you contact your local high school AD. Some schools in the nation do not know what they signed. Strengthen your relationship, do not assume that the AD and coaches understand the value that your station has brought to their high school sports program. Tell them!
Statement regarding the above article from MHSAA’s John Johnson (9/4/20): “Whatever relationship a school has with the NFHS Network, it does not prohibit MAB members from performing their primary task – Over The Air broadcasting. I think you make that clear when it comes to radio, but not television. The only rights the NFHS Network secures when a school signs up for the School Broadcasting Program is streaming video.