Earlier this week the Iowa State High School Athletic Association announced they are in litigation against the Iowa High School Sports Network because of their decision to charge for access to the upcoming state semifinals.
For anyone who has tried to watch a district or playoff game online in Missouri, entering in your credit card information before kickoff should sound familiar.
For each playoff game a team plays in Missouri, it’s $10.60 to watch a video stream.
So for it to go to actual litigation in Iowa what do they have to be charging you might ask? $25, $30 a game for the semifinals?
Nope. $18.99 for access to ALL 21 semifinal and final games in Iowa.
Want to watch all 21 final and semifinal games in Missouri, that will set you back a little over $160.
I get that MSHSAA is trying to make a few bucks, but there has to be a better way than charging $10 a game (though to be fair last season for the state final weekend you could buy all the games for around $15).
Chances are if you are reading this column you care quite a bit about high school football and chances are if for $40 you could watch every playoff game you’d shell that out.
Say this Friday you wanted to watch Lee’s Summit North against Rockhurst, Kearney vs. Smithville, South Shelby and Bowling Green plus Portageville and Marionville. That alone is $42. Instead you’ll find most fans will watch maybe one game, some will save the $10 and listen to the audio feed only.
Across the state line in Kansas it’s a hodge podge, with the most expensive charge coming from a monthly subscription to NFHS.
No one is asking MSHSAA to give away broadcasts of the game for free like Nebraska does. What people are asking for is for some more creative ways to get the playoff broadcasts for all state championship activities to fans than $10 a game. What’s that look like? Like I mentioned before, a pass for the whole set of playoffs similar to what the MIAA network does with their subscription model makes the most sense. Or even worse, calling up the counterparts in Iowa to find out how to make it work.