The factors considered when making the decision to contract with NBC Sports Chicago (NBCSCH).
The Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN.COM) owns the television media rights to the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s (IHSAA) state football, wrestling and basketball championships. The IHSSN, and not the IHSAA, licensed the television media rights to NBC Sports Chicago. It was not a money decision, as people have been led to believe, but based on a number of the following issues.
With the transition to digital, television stations can now broadcast on their primary signal (dot 1), a Dot 2, Dot 3 or Dot 4 signal. Being on the primary signal was crucial to the IHSSN. A primary signal provides viewers maximum over-the-air coverage, are on most cable systems and are on Dish and DirecTV. The primary signal is also capable of televising in high definition (HD).
Going into the 2016-17 season, the primary signal was not being made available to the IHSSN. The main reason given was that stations are allowed a limited amount of preemptions a year. IHSSN events total eighty-eight hours and in all probability would put them over their limit.
The next option was to put the telecasts on the Dot 2, Dot 3 or Dot 4 channels. These channels are broadcast over-the-air and require an antenna for a household to receive the signal. They are not always on cable systems and are not on Dish and DirecTV. In addition, Dot channels cannot always deliver an HD signal. This was not acceptable.
After a tremendous amount of research, NBC Sports Chicago and their affiliates offered the best solution for the IHSSN. NBC Sports Chicago would broadcast all IHSAA events via television and live streaming in full HD, would carry the IHSSN programming in its entirety, are carried by a wide variety of cable systems and offer statewide coverage on Dish and DirecTV.
NBC Sports Chicago has been carrying IHSSN programming in some capacity for the last four years. Viewers expressed their concern that NBC Sports Chicago is an out of state company. Almost all commercial TV stations in the state of Iowa are owned by companies outside of Iowa.
The IHSSN is committed to providing the best coverage and production possible for the IHSAA State Championships. We assure you, as we deal with the never ending and fast moving changes in the media landscape, we will never waver from that commitment.
The IHSAA State Basketball Championships have not been on Iowa Public Television (IPTV). The IHSAA State Wrestling Championships have not been on IPTV since 2002. Information provided by the IHSAA.
The IHSAA State Football Championships (all six classes) have been on the IHSSN network for twelve (12) years. Prior to that, the State Football Championships had not been shown in its entirety on television for twenty (20) years. Information provided by the IHSAA.
The IHSSN is contracted with NBCSCH to televise and video stream live the 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 football, wrestling and basketball semi-finals and finals for their coverage area which includes Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. You must be a cable, DirecTV or Dish Satellite subscriber with the NBCSCH package. Additional information is available at www.ihssn.com