Chris Brittain, Lenoir City High School athletic director, brought before Lenoir City Board of Education on Thursday the possibility of livestreaming athletic events with a designated YouTube channel.
Brittain said some student-athlete families don’t feel comfortable coming to games despite attendance being limited to immediate family. As a solution and a way to let others watch the games, he proposed LCHS athletics begin streaming all athletic events online.
“That is no cost to the school. There’s no contract involved,” Brittain said. “This will allow us to get our games out to the public who don’t feel comfortable coming to the games. I’ve talked with Dylan Brewster in our CTE department, Crystal Wallace in our digital arts. We have the equipment to do this. We also have students capable of using that as a work-based learning to record the games. There’s a way to involve our students as well.”
The venture would “just be tipping our toe in the water,” he said. Other avenues of livestreaming could be explored later, but YouTube is free with no commitments. Brittain also thinks livestreaming could open opportunities to generate advertising revenue.
Chris Smallen, Lenoir City Schools chief technology officer, said there is an existing YouTube channel for the city schools.
“Would you use the same one or would you do it separate?” Matthew Coleman, board member, said.
Smallen and Brittain haven’t communicated yet but will work together.
Glenn McNish, board member, raised concerns about costs.
“You have to have a certain amount of subscribers to be considered a verified account, and I would imagine, since we already have an account set up, we would already have those subscribers,” Brittain said. “The plan was if we needed to (do) that we could use our students, even our faculty, to subscribe to get that amount of 100. That can be family members even.”
McNish liked the idea of getting students involved in production. Brittain plans to involve an announcer so games can be called as they’re streamed.
Jeanne Barker, Lenoir City director of schools, said there are classes offered at LCHS where students will be able to directly apply what they’re learning in a real-world setting.
McNish wanted to know if more opportunities would be available to students.
“First off, is setting up the equipment, getting them scheduled to actually film the games,” Brittain said. “Then, hopefully, that will trickle into if they wanted to maybe even get into calling the games, we could go that route as well. Like I said, I think this right now is kind of tipping our toe in the water and getting the game streamed, and, hopefully, that could build into more opportunity for our kids.”
The board was not required to take action for approval since the school district already has a YouTube channel, Barker said. Members did, however, support the venture.