PHS begins offering live video streaming of games and events

Posted 2/6/20

Watching the action at Panther Gym can now be as simple as logging on to your nearest computer or unlocking your phone.

As of last month, Powell High School is, for a fee, broadcasting games and …

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PHS begins offering live video streaming of games and events

Posted

Watching the action at Panther Gym can now be as simple as logging on to your nearest computer or unlocking your phone.

As of last month, Powell High School is, for a fee, broadcasting games and other activities over the internet.

“We’re excited,” said PHS Activities/Athletic Director Scott McKenzie, “because not only can we do athletic events, but we can do any event that’s in the gym.”

That means basketball, wrestling, robotics competitions, the kindergarten circus, graduation and other occasions can all be streamed online. Then in the spring, school officials will install another outdoor camera at Panther Stadium, with the intent of broadcasting events like track and field meets and soccer and football games.

“We’ll be able to do anything out there on the track/turf,” McKenzie said, calling the new streaming video a way to “just bring more of Panther Nation together.”

Tuning in to the action requires signing up for a subscription with the NFHS Network — a part of the CBS Sports Digital Network — for either $69.99 a year or $10.99 a month. A subscription includes access to feeds from all the places that offer streaming through the NFHS Network, including many individual Wyoming schools and state tournament games/matches.

PHS’s videos are being shot by a completely automated camera system, with no commentary. Thanks to a partnership between the NFHS and the Wyoming High School Activities Association, PHS was able to purchase the two Pixellot cameras and the associated equipment for a reduced price of $5,000. McKenzie said he appreciated that Park County School District No. 1 Superintendent Jay Curtis and the school board were willing to support this “opportunity.”

Breanne Thiel, who runs the Facebook page Powell Wyoming Athletics, had live streamed some local games, but was facing large costs to continue that effort, McKenzie said. “It was just nice timing to kind of take over what she had been doing,” he said.

PHS will get $1 from each monthly NFHS Network subscription purchased by Panther fans. McKenzie hopes that revenue will cover the cost of the cameras within five years; that would mean an average of about 85 subscribers each month for the Panthers.

McKenzie said he knows Cody, Worland and Lander have experienced “impressive” viewership with the program; surprisingly, he said, the stream from small, remote Farson has drawn the greatest traffic in the state.

As for whether offering live streams of Panther events might discourage people from showing up in person, the AD doesn’t think that will be an issue.

“While we may lose, I don’t know … 20 or so fans, I think for the most part local folks are still going to come out,” McKenzie said. “This is just an opportunity for family, relatives, fans far away to be able to view the Panthers.”

If the goes well, the district’s hope is to add identical cameras to Powell Middle School and potentially the PHS auditorium. To learn more about the streaming service, visit www.nfhsnetwork.com.

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