Easton Area School District

The Easton Red Rovers may start livestreaming football and basketball games for $5 each starting in the 2022-23 season.

Easton Area School District Athletic Director James Pokrivsak said nationally, high school teams are moving to paid streaming, which allows anybody, anywhere, to watch a game. That trend has gained speed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which in some cases has resulted in barring spectators from events.

"With this, somebody who can't get to a game can watch their son, daughter, nephew or neighbor wherever they are," he said. An Easton alumnus in California, for example, could follow their old school. Fans of opposing teams will also be able to watch.

Pokrivsak noted that the viewing experience will not be quite like Monday Night Football or basketball on ESPN. There will be one camera, no commentators, no sideline reporters and no interviews.

For Easton Area High School football, there will be one automated camera near the 50-yard line that will track the ball and player motion. Boys and girls basketball games will also be broadcast by one camera.

Easton's goal is not to create empty seats at Cottingham Stadium.

"We like to have people in the stands," Pokrivsak said. "If those fans have to pay $5 or $6 to go to a game, it's fair that people at home pay too."

The fee also helps Easton maintain its relationship with cable companies, which pay $500 to broadcast live events. Allowing fans to watch for free would not be fair to the companies that have broadcast Red Rover sports for decades, Pokrivsak said.

Easton is working with Hudl, an international sports company that provides online tools, apps, cameras and analytics for teams at all levels of competition. Hudl will provide cameras and set up a paywall for games. Once the cameras are in, fans will be able to go to the EASD website and pay per game.

The camera setup and paywall will ideally be ready for football season. The video technology might also allow for automatic tallying of statistics, such as rushing yardage.

"In high schools, this is going to become common," Pokrivsak said.

The Easton Area School Board will review the potential streaming fee and ticket prices at a meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the middle school.

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