“HighSchoolOT Live” has been recognized as a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award winner for excellence in innovation, the Radio Television Digital News Association announced on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
Since the fall of 2016, Capitol Broadcasting Company and HighSchoolOT.com have produced “HighSchoolOT Live,” a multi-platform, interactive means to deliver and consume North Carolina high school football coverage. With live video from up to eight games per night, fans are able to watch complete live games on any streaming device.
“The Murrow Awards are special, in part because of the namesake,” said John Conway, general manager of CBC New Media Group, the digital arm of Capitol Broadcasting. “It means our peers in the Southeast believe we have done something worthy of special recognition.”
In addition to the live game feeds, “HighSchoolOT Live” features a live studio show hosted by Nick Stevens and Wayne Bragg. Kelly Riner is the producer. The studio show goes live at kickoff and runs until all eight games are complete. The show features instant replays, professional analysis, top plays, live look-ins and more.
Modeled after the “NFL RedZone,” the “HighSchoolOT Live” studio show is high-energy. At times, multiple games can be displayed at once. Other times, Stevens and Bragg will jump back and forth from game to game between plays.
Last fall, “HighSchoolOT Live” hired and trained a seasonal staff of 23 photographers, play-by-play analysts and replay operators. The seasonal staff teamed up with the regular part time and full time staff members to put on the show, which requires a fully staffed and operational control room throughout the evening.
WRAL-TV’s engineering department built portable kits for live and on-demand video, as well as anew sub-router in order to accommodate the large number of live streams coming into the building. At times, “HighSchoolOT Live” is airing while WRAL-TV is on the air for newscasts.
The CBC New Media team built a game management dashboard which allows for the monitoring of multiple live streams on a single screen, associate games with live score updates and more.
High school football fans in central and eastern North Carolina are able to stream “HighSchoolOT Live” on HighSchoolOT.com, the HighSchoolOT.com mobile app, and the WRAL app for Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV. The audio from the studio show is simulcast live on 99.9 FM The Fan ESPN Radio, the sports radio station owned by CBC. Last season, the show aired live over the air on WRAL’s digital channel 5.2.
“This project was a truly collaborative effort,” Conway said. “It involved television engineering and operations, news, production, digital content staff, developers, sales, marketing, plus our radio partners, to execute on this big idea of producing weekly a live highlights show with multiple live stream options across web, apps, TV and radio. I could not be more proud of the team for their hard work and dedication.”
The RTDNA has been honoring news organizations with Murrow Awards since 1971 and the organization says the awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news. According to the RTDNA, the excellence in innovation Murrow Award “is designed to award legacy radio or television news organizations that innovate their product to enhance the quality of journalism and the audience’s understanding of news.”
With the regional win, “HighSchoolOT Live” will advance to the National Murrow Award competition. National winners will be announced in June.
“This is a true honor for ‘HighSchoolOT Live’ and everyone who has worked on the show,” Stevens said. “When this concept was first discussed in late 2015, I didn’t think it could be pulled off. Six months later, the infrastructure was in place and the staff was being hired. It goes to show how dedicated CBC is to high school athletics and providing that important coverage to the community.”
“HighSchoolOT Live” will return for a third season this fall with even more exciting ways to cover the games. Applications for the season part time positions are currently being accepted.
Thanks to HighSchoolOT for this capcom story & to HSOT’s Suzie Wolf for this capcom photo.