The latest step in the growth of the MHSAA Network happened this week with the official launch of the MHSAA.tv Website, which will serve as the go-to location for all video content created during the fall regular season in several sports, and which will also host live distribution of Association Finals in a number of tournaments, beginning with the Boys Soccer Finals on November 1.
In addition to broadcasts of contests that became available on Friday, the majority being from this year's fall regular-season competitions in football, boys soccer and girls volleyball. Videos of the 2008 MHSAA Boys Baseball Finals are also available, as well as classic contests from the 1990's in football, volleyball and soccer. Visitors to the MHSAA.tv Website can sort games by sport, and also search for games by school.
Information about purchasing DVDs of available games can also be accessed. The remainder of the 70-plus games already produced this fall by the MHSAA Network will be loaded during the coming week, along with tournament contests and highlights shows in golf, tennis and cross country.
"The MHSAA.tv Website makes it possible for fans to access games at their own convenience from wherever they are located," said John Johnson, MHSAA Communications Director. "This on-demand availability, coupled with contests being shown on cable television on a scheduled basis, give the MHSAA Network incredible reach, and helps spread the good word about high school sports."
Visitors to the MHSAA.tv Website will find navigation tabs on the left side directing them to the most recently played games which have been uploaded; a number of "best of" videos; highlighted games from the current season; classic games from seasons past; a complete list of games available on the site; and a link to audio of MHSAA post-season tournament and regular season contents on the MHSAA Internet Broadcast Network, which has been originating Association Finals in a number of sports the past three years.
A total of 20 live fall tournament events will be streamed through the MHSAA.tv Website, beginning with the Boys Soccer Finals on November 1 at Troy Athens and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek High Schools. On the weekend of Nov. 20-22, the Semifinals and Finals of the MHSAA Girls Volleyball Tournament, the Finals of the Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming and Diving Tournament at three locations, and a prime time Semifinal game in the MHSAA Football Playoffs will be streamed live.
MHSAA Network content is also available on Comcast Cable on Channel 900 its Video On Demand service. The MHSAA Network debuted on Comcast in early September. Negotiations are ongoing with other cable television outlets.
Content for the MHSAA Network is being created by When We Were Young Productions-Michigan, which is located in Hartland. When We Were Young Productions is a leading provider of high school sports content and distribution platform development. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., WWWYP was founded in 1992 and has successfully partnered with a number of high school associations and cable providers.
"The Internet element is essential in the contemporary audio and video network," said Tim Eichorst, president of When We Were Young Productions. "People still enjoy appointment-based viewing of events on cable television and over-the-air television and radio outlets, but Internet on-demand availability broadens the reach locally and to followers of high school sports worldwide."
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,600 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.