The Iowa High School Athletic Association has gone to court in hopes of preventing the Iowa High School Sports Network from charging viewers for streaming of championship events in six sports, beginning with next months state baseball tournament. Tom Keating is executive director of the IHSAA and says he voiced concern about imposing a fee for viewership before Tuesday’s announcement.
The network has held the rights to boy’s championship events since 2010 and the current agreement runs through 2029. The Association has filed a petition in Polk County District Court asking permission to stream the games for free if the network does not.
Despite the current rift Keating sees no problem working with the IHSSN moving forward.
IHSSN Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ric Silvestrini released this statement:
As the exclusive provider of many Iowa boys’ state championship events, we were disappointed to learn of the recent lawsuit filed against us by the IHSAA. It is important to remember that fans will still be able to watch championship games on television for free thanks to our broadcast partners around the state. However, under our new pay-per-view platform, accessing our broadcasts via streaming devices – like phones or tablets – will require a nominal fee, which is in-line with current market rates and the cost of actually attending the event live.
IHSSN is a privately held company and we have taken significant steps over the last two years to enhance the programming offered; and we believe a move to a new, pay-per-view platform for streaming customers will provide opportunities for us to add even more coverage and features in the future. Given this, we strongly disagree with the merits of this lawsuit and plan to file a response to the claims made once we have had time fully review the document.