Broadcasting basketball: How live streams are becoming a big part of high school sports


Isabel Russmann

Gabe Russmann logging into NFHS Network at home to watch his sisters play basketball on game night.

Matt Mickle, PV Only Editor

Iowa is amongst a small number of states that has allowed athletes to be able to continue high school sports throughout COVID-19. However, this year school sports are forced to look different.

COVID-19 limited many schools’ ability to have the same in-person attendance as there was previously because of the safety guidelines set by the CDC.  In an effort to make the best out of these circumstances, live streams have become the top choice for schools to give supporters the opportunity to watch their team play, but still follow the safety precautions.

These live streams have come in all shapes and sizes. A newly popular app, called Periscope, allows anyone to join a group where they can watch a live stream started from a friend’s phone. Facebook lives have also been a popular go-to option for live streaming sports.

While these are common and useful ways that allow people to watch the games, many schools in the area, including PV, have started using NFHS Network, which makes it possible for people to watch all games by paying a ten dollar monthly fee.

These live streams are found useful for people of all ages, but especially useful for grandparents. They are able to continue to watch their grandchildren play and not have to worry about their safety.

Grandparents are one of the most at risk groups for the most severe effects of Covid-19. Joey Borbeck, a senior basketball player at PV introduced the idea of the live stream to his grandma. “My Grandma bought the monthly subscription and finds it very useful,” said Borbeck.

Borbeck’s grandma has some health issues that make it imperative that she stays safe during the pandemic. “She gets to be by herself and stay safe at the same time as supporting me and the team” Borbeck explained.

This is a great investment for those that plan to use it throughout the remainder of the season, but for those who can make all but one game, it can be inconvenient.

Senior basketball player Jacob Townsend was recently quarantined for 10 days due to the virus, forcing him to miss four games. “I wanted to watch my boys play, but it didn’t make much sense for me to pay ten dollars per month when I would be back in a week and a half” Townsend stated.

Live streams have become an increasingly utilized part of high school sports, and PV is working to install another camera in Spartan Stadium to open up the opportunity to broadcast soccer games this spring.