Did you know that nearly eight million high school athletes compete in the United States? Many of these athletes are trying to attract the attention of college recruiters. The schools that they represent also stand to benefit from having their star players go viral. So, how can this happen? The easiest answer is to use a live streaming service.
This guide will reveal important things to consider when it comes to live streaming high school sports.
One of the first things that you need to consider for streaming live sports is your budget.
If you’re struggling to find funding in your budget, you’re not alone. In the last few years, certain parts of the US have faced budget cuts for education. An alternative solution is for a school to work with boosters. That can allow them to potentially get the funding they need to live stream their games.
The next thing that a school needs to do before moving forward with live streaming their sporting events is to make sure that they have the right to do so. There can be a few hurdles that schools have to go through before they can do this properly.
Depending on what sports conference you are in, that conference may have the first word on what live streaming is allowed for the teams that play in that conference.
You may have to get permission to live stream conference games, or live streaming might have to be agreed upon by the entire conference.
Another example could be trying to live stream games that take place in a state tournament. In that situation, the state’s sporting association could already have the live streaming rights to broadcast all state tournament games. If they do not have this already, you could need approval from the state to do your own live broadcast.
On top of the two scenarios above, a school may only be able to stream its games in a certain region rather than broadcasting it to the entire country or the entire world. Regardless of which hurdle your school might run into, you must do your research on what the rules and regulations are when it comes to this.
When it comes to live streaming, one of the most important things that you need from an operational standpoint is a strong internet connection. If there is a poor internet connection for your live stream, you risk losing viewers not only for that stream but for future live streams as well. Live stream viewers are not typically patient when it comes to buffering.
Most of the time, live streams have about two seconds to start up properly before viewers begin to lose their patience. Every second that a live stream buffers after that, the broadcaster can expect to lose 6% of their viewers.
That means that a long buffer delay such as 30 seconds or even over a minute can mean a massive loss in viewership. This is why schools need to make sure that their internet connection is reliable before they begin this process.
What they need to do is check their own area first and see what the internet speed is like on a regular school day. For schools that are located in more remote areas such as the middle of the mountains or farmland, this can be a bigger challenge.
If your school is not confident in its own internet connection, you need to take the extra time to discuss with a live stream service how they are going to get around this. Make sure that they have the proper equipment and the proper strategy to prepare for this.
Some schools may feel like they are in over their heads when it comes to live streaming high school sports. If your school is in this position, then you are likely going to need a streaming service that has open availability to you.
This can come in two different forms. The first is having the flexibility to show up to a game at a moment’s notice.
A truly flexible service will allow you to schedule a game at the last minute. For instance, you may need to make up a game due to inclement weather, or you may need streaming flexibility during the playoffs.
In these situations, schools can find some relief knowing that some live streaming services have flexible enough schedules to show up for the school right away.
You should also work with customer service who is available to answer questions answered quickly. However, not every live stream service has people available 24/7 to answer these questions right away.
This is something a school should discuss with a live streaming company in advance to see what type of customer service they can expect from said company. Schools may need extra guidance on their broadcast and also extra consulting about what equipment they’ll need for a broadcast.
With that in mind, the proper flexibility and customer service can make a school feel at ease.
When you are working with a live stream service, ask if they will provide training on how to live stream.
Your provider should be able to provide you with insights into a variety of issues. Is there enough room for all of the necessary equipment? If they need to run long wires for their equipment, is there a path that makes that possible? How many people can they fit in one area for a live stream? What equipment is absolutely necessary for a successful broadcast?
If your school can discuss these things with a live stream service in advance, the chances of a successful broadcast go up dramatically.
Use a Live Streaming Service
These are some of the biggest things that you need to know about live streaming services. You need to make sure that your school has the appropriate budget for this, has the broadcast rights for this, a proper internet connection, flexibility from the live streaming service, and consulting from them as well.
Are you ready to move forward with a streaming platform? Schedule a call with us today to learn more.