By John Johnson
MHSAA Director of Broadcast Properties
A year ago, Pixellot – the automated production solution for schools wishing to stream live video of their athletic events on the NFHS Network and MHSAA.tv – was in use at six schools across Michigan.
With the new school year underway, nearly two dozen schools are actively streaming events using Pixellot, with half of those schools streaming indoor and outdoor events. Several schools have more than two Pixellot units in place.
“Schools are finding that Pixellot provides a great opportunity to get a lot of their games out to their fans in a way they could never achieve,” said Mark Uyl, executive director of the MHSAA. “We have some schools which are using a mix of their traditional, student-staffed, School Broadcast Program efforts along with Pixellot to be able to add subvarsity coverage; and schools going exclusively with Pixellot with installations at multiple venues.”
Pixellot units use from two to four High Definition cameras that cover the length of the playing surface and then focus on the ball and player movement to deliver the action. The unit communicates with the scoreboard to insert a time and score graphic on the screen. Ambient audio is picked up by the device, but the commentary of the public address announcer or the radio style play-by-play of an in-person announcing team also can be patched in.
All that has to be done from a school’s perspective is type in the event schedule and promote the fact that the games are available on MHSAA.tv. Pixellot does the rest. The unit also can be set up to isolate a camera on a fixed location, which allows for activities like cheer and wrestling to be streamed.
Schools actively engaged in Pixellot productions now include: Ann Arbor Greenhills, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Brighton, Calumet, Dollar Bay, Frankenmuth, Freeland, Fremont, Grand Blanc, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, Harrison, Howell, Kalamazoo Christian, Macomb Lutheran North, Manchester, Norway, Novi, Otisville-LakeVille, Ovid-Elsie, Plainwell, Saginaw Heritage, Saline, Stevensville Lakeshore, Warren DeLaSalle and Williamston. Schools using indoor and outdoor units include Cranbrook Kingswood, Frankenmuth, Freeland, Grand Blanc, Howell, Manchester, Norway, Novi, Ovid-Elsie, Plainwell, Saginaw Heritage, Saline and Stevensville Lakeshore. Additional schools will have their Pixellot units coming online soon.
More than 70 percent of the programming taking place this week on MHSAA.tv will be Pixellot productions, featuring a football game Friday evening with two of the top-ranked Division 1 teams facing off for the top spot in the Saginaw Valley League’s Red division. Grand Blanc hosts Davison at 7 p.m. Both teams are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play, tied with Lapeer for first place.
Here’s this week’s MHSAA.tv schedule of video streams being produced by School Broadcast Program members and the NFHS Network:
Tuesday - Sept. 18
Wednesday - Sept. 19
Thursday - Sept. 20
Friday - Sept. 21
Saturday - Sept. 22
Monday - Sept. 24
Tuesday - Sept. 25
All sporting events – live or delayed - are available on a subscription basis only for their first 72 hours online. They become available for free, on-demand viewing approximately 72 hours following their completion.
NFHS Network subscriptions begin at $9.95 a month. Subscribers will have access to all live video and streaming statistics across the country. All content becomes available for free, on-demand viewing 72 hours after being shown live. School Broadcast Program participants also will be selling Season and Annual Passes at a discounted rate. A portion of every subscription sold by a school goes to benefit its program.
Highlights of games broadcast during the past week by MHSAA School Broadcast Program contributors feature a pair of close football contests – Marquette’s 36-35 overtime win over Escanaba and Howell topping Novi, 21-17 – and a volleyball match with Lake Orion defeating Oxford, 3-0.
Highlights can be found each week on the MHSAA.tv website, the home page of the MHSAA Website, and the MHSAASports Channel on YouTube.
A complete list of participating schools can be found on the School Broadcast Program page of the MHSAA website.