Printed on: January 17, 2013

Website retains IHSAA rights

By Michael Lycklama
mlycklama@postregister.com

The Idaho High School Activities Association board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to extend its exclusive online broadcasting contract with IdahoSports.com.

The three-year contract awards the website Internet broadcasting rights for all IHSAA-sponsored state tournament events for another three years. In addition to the football, basketball, wrestling, soccer and baseball tournaments and state track meet the site already carries, the contract states IdahoSports .com will also broadcast the state cheer and dance and the state volleyball tournament.

Volleyball comes with a similar exception to soccer, allowing the website to broadcast the tournament when the infrastructure is available at host sites.

"They have always been great to work with and need to be complimented for all they have done, and will continue to do, for our schools and the student-athletes of Idaho," John Billetz, the executive director of the IHSAA, said in a news release.

Founded in 1997, Idaho Sports.com began streaming high school sporting events in 2004 and became the state's first official online broadcaster in 2005. It signed a three-year contract as the state's exclusive online broadcaster in 2010. That deal expired at the end of this school year. The new contract carries through the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Paul Kingsbury, the owner of IdahoSports.com, said the website totaled nearly 500,000 viewers between the state basketball and wrestling tournaments last winter.

Kingsbury said Idaho Sports.com broadcasts approximately 400 games or events per year, including regular season football games. It expanded into eastern Idaho in the 2011-12 school year and has held exclusive football rights for Idaho Falls and Skyline home games the past two seasons.

"We have really enjoyed providing this service for the IHSAA, its schools and its fans for nearly a decade now and we'll continue to do everything we can to exceed the expectations of the IHSAA," Kingsbury said in a news release. "We're honored that the Board of Directors has put their trust in us again to provide online broadcasts of events for friends, families and fans who can't be there themselves."