Iowans’ ability to view high school boys state tournaments is about to increase dramatically.
The Iowa High School Sports Network, in coordination with the Iowa High School Athletic Association, has announced a new distribution plan that will allow the events to be viewed by a broader audience.
IHSSN president Ken Krogman has arranged for six affiliates around the state to broadcast the state football finals, state wrestling finals and state basketball finals. They also will be streamed for free.
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“I think the expanded coverage for more Iowans to be able to view our state events, that’s obviously the big thing,’’ IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “Ken and his group have worked very hard to get their organization to the point where they can combine coverage throughout the state for these events. We’re very, very happy about that.’’
The broadcasts will be available on the affiliates’ digital — dot-2 or dot-3 — channels. Viewers must either subscribe to a local cable company that provides access to the digital channels, or have a television antenna in their home. Those six affiliates are KPTM 42.2 in Omaha (southwest Iowa), KPTH 44.2 in Sioux City, KDSM 17.3 in Des Moines, KFXA 28.2 in Cedar Rapids, KXLT 47.2 in Rochester, Minn. (north-central Iowa) and WQAD 8.3 in the Quad Cities.
Here is the list, by sport, of the state events the IHSSN is planning to stream for free:
Football: Semifinal round and championship round.
Cheerleading: The state championships.
Basketball: Quarterfinal round, semifinal round and championship round.
Wrestling: Semifinal round and championship round.
Track and field: All three days of the coed state meet.
Soccer: Semifinal round and championship round.
Baseball: Quarterfinal round, semifinal round and championship round.
“The live streaming part is another great piece of this that we really, really are looking forward to,’’ Keating said. “It’s the direction that a lot of media is going, so it makes sense that streaming is a part of this.’’
The agreement will span at least two years. Previously, the IHSSN had a three-year deal with NBC Sports Chicago, but many Iowans lacked access to the channel.
“We are giving the viewers what they want, many platforms to deliver the IHSSN product into their homes,’’ Krogman said. “It will be up to each individual household to decide how it accesses that content.’’
In addition to its free streaming of the semifinals and finals of the state wrestling tournament, Track Wrestling will stream the 2020 Dual Wrestling Tournament along with all eight sessions of the 2020 Traditional Wrestling Tournament. There will be a $15.95 access charge, which includes unlimited access to the archives and viewing of all eight mats.