Center Township – Homer Center A long-time broadcaster of high school football and basketball games has asked the school district to drop a deal allowing sports webcasting organizations across the country to view sporting events schools on the Internet. did.

The problem with Renda Broadcasting and Digital is the vague contract between Homer-Center and the NFHS Network that prohibits other media from broadcasting videos of Wildcats games at Memorial Field or Homer Dome Gymnasium. It’s a rule of words. For decades, the rendering stations WCCS-AM, WDAD-AM, WQMU-FM, and WLCY-FM have established themselves as flagship sports radios throughout Homer Center and Indiana County.

Keeping pace with the growing popularity of online distribution of sports games and other entertainment, Mark Bertig, general manager of Render’s Indiana division, said the station will invest heavily in video technology in 2020 to play soccer and football. basketball. He said he started a web streaming program. Similar to paid commercial ads shown in radio games, makes advertising time sold on webcast to develop new revenue streams.

Last year, Bertig said NFHS officials exempted rendering from the rules and allowed him to broadcast football games. This year, he thinks the NFHS will exercise its exclusivity.

“It’s late for us. We have several contracts with advertising partners who are eagerly awaiting radio and video at this school, ”says Bertig. “So we’re going to knock a bit.

“And in fact, it’s not about whether the service is good or bad. Is it fair that we can’t compete? They exclude local businesses that pay taxes in that county from their competitiveness. “

“I met and talked about the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS). Last year, the person who gave me this permission no longer works at the National Federation of State High Schools, ”said high school principal Jody Rainey. I told the committee. “If they don’t respect him, that’s Mark’s business.”

According to the front page provisions of school officials in the 11-page agreement signed last year with parent company PlayOn, “Schools allow third parties to broadcast regular season sporting events that are considered competing with the activities of PlayOn. Does not allow “NFHS.

The contract requires the Homer Center to pay the NFHS $ 2,500 for its equipment and provides that the school will receive a portion of the NFHS advertising revenue starting in the fourth year of the five-year contract.

Bertig asked the school board to revoke the contract on June 23.

Board member Vicky Smith said no one knew the monopoly terms of the deal, nor understood the impact on local broadcasters.

During the pandemic, “Everyone was scrambling… to find as many platforms as possible to serve the game to parents, grandparents and fans in general who would be limited by participation,” Bertig said. Mentionned. “The NFHS has come and signed many contracts nationwide and is unknown to many school boards. The wording of contracts has monopoly rights that will harm us today and in the future. include.”

According to Bertig, the render launched radio and online broadcasts. Some are simulcast and some have separate announcement teams. We have also set up a streaming webcast of the game beyond the limits of the four local stations.

“Last year we played about 25 streaming video games. In some cases we only did video streaming games… the radio was not connected, ”said Bertig. “Well, fast forward, we’ll be stuck with these NFHS deals. This is a national and state problem, and exploration down to the local level is starting to hurt small and medium-sized broadcasters. “

He declined to compare the revenue from traditional radio ads with the cash flow from newly used web ads.

“Last year we invested in hardware and tried to help the school with streaming components, so it was all done really quickly,” he said. “In general, not just sports, digital is the fastest growing part of our business in a way that goes beyond digital streaming, and it will continue to grow.”

According to Bertig, the NFHS makes money by selling subscriptions to sports viewers.

Some school board members did not respond to Bertig’s request and sympathized with the fate of the radio station, while others were reluctant to sever the NFHS network contract.

Some said the district could not afford the $ 5,000 early termination fee required by the NFHS ($ 2,500 to remove wired webcasting equipment from the football field and an additional $ 2,500 for the gymnasium. ). ..

Others said the NFHS had an edge over renderings by showing all athletic competitions at all levels of the gymnasium, from national team basketball to high school volleyball.

“What do we do for young parents who want to watch the volleyball game? James McLaughlin said. “I think the challenge is that people are used to it. “

“It was the first time they had something because volleyball wasn’t on the radio,” said Michael Schmidt, board member.

However, the NFHS does not have a paid advertiser to call up live games published online. Some games seem completely silent. Others are webcasts using speaker play and ambient audio from the scoring account.

Bertig said broadcast associations across the state and nation were urging lawmakers to pass the bill “to protect small businesses like us.” Republican Rep. Jim Struzzi heard Lender’s plea, but said Harrisburg had yet to submit a bill. The Oklahoma Parliament was passed by an overwhelming majority, and the governor signed a decision to allow video streaming by visiting the team’s webcasters on sites where the local team has an exclusive contract with NFHS, a Bertig said. ..

Currently, the deal will prevent renders as “Voice of Homer Center Sports” from showing games at United High School, which also has a contract with NFHS.

According to Bertig, the broadcaster’s mission is not to shut down the NFHS network.

“I am not against the NFHS…. all we want to do is compete, ”he said. “If we can add local content and flavor to the NFHS, which lacks play-by-play components, we can seize the opportunity. “

What happened at the Homer Center is a sign of what happened elsewhere, Bertig said.

“I have a feeling that there are a lot of stations that don’t know where to get hit by trucks,” says Bertig. “We’re all challenged enough in today’s environment, so we don’t have to be blocked by national competitors doing nothing at all for the benefit of our communities. “

For other projects, Homer Center Board of Education:

• We accepted an offer of $ 63,500 for the Quaker Sales school campus roadway.

• Contract renewal to hire Pittsburgh Regional Lawyer Daniel Cooper as District Lawyer in 2021-2022 for $ 80 per hour and $ 20 one way to the district office.

• During the academic year 2021-2022, a salary increase of 2.75% was approved for the secretary of the central office.

• An excuse for a local tax collection company to collect $ 273.68 in overdue income taxes payable by unspecified district residents.

• Approval of an extension of the 2020-21 tuition fee arrangement in New Story, Indiana, for the planning of primary education.

• Erin Hilderbrand approved the use of the elementary school library for the library’s summer program from 9 am to 2 pm on July 19 and August 11.

• For nine days in July, Bethany Genchur and kindergarten teachers authorized the use of four elementary school rooms for the ABC’s & Me program.

• Genchur was granted permission to use the elementary school’s library and computer room as part of the Summer Blast K-6 program in July.

• Louise Daniels offered summer music lessons in the elementary school music room for six days this summer.

• Granted Christie Boyda and Homer City Parks and Recreation permission to use the high school gymnasium for the Men’s and Women’s National Team Summer Basketball League from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the 10 days of June and July. I did.

• Going back June 7-11, we approved Matthew Wilson, Chief of Maintenance, for five days unpaid leave.

• Approval of a contract with Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit No. 28 for DEA services at a cost of $ 428 from 2021 to 22.

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