The IHSA and its broadcast partner When We Were Young Productions (WWWYP) have announced in conjunction with ESPN that the 2010 IHSA Football State Championship contests will be carried live on ESPN3.com, marking the first time that ESPN has broadcast a high school state association state final event in any sport on any of the network’s platforms.
“Illinois is a state with a rich tradition of high school sports and a fan base that is passionate about its local high school teams,” said Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN3.com. “We look forward to the 2010 IHSA Football State Championship games being the first state high school association state finals to be broadcast on ESPN3.com and the ESPN family of networks.”
The IHSA’s eight state championship football games will once again be broadcast around the state on local television via the IHSA TV Network when the contests unfold at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign on Friday and Saturday, November 26-27. ESPN3.com will carry the live television feed from all eight contests, which can be accessed via www.ESPN3.com. The IHSA’s webstreaming portal, www.IHSA.tv, will not carry the games live, but will have each contest archived after its conclusion.
“I am not sure there is a company or organization on the planet that has defined sports and sports coverage in my lifetime more than ESPN,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “The opportunity to align ourselves with ESPN3.com is very exciting and unique to say the least.”
ESPN3.com delivers more than 3,500 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider, and is currently available in more than 53 million homes, a majority of U.S. broadband homes. It is available via dozens of Internet Service Providers of all sizes nationwide, including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, Windstream, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. Interested viewers can check to see if they currently receive ESPN3.com or if it is available in their area by visiting http://espn.go.com/espn3/affList.
On September 3, 2010 the match-up between defending Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state football champions Wheaton Warrenville South (7A) and Maine South (8A) was carried exclusively on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 live broadband sports network, as well as ESPNU.
The IHSA and WWWYP signed a seven-year contract in September making the Madison, Wisconsin based group the IHSA’s television and internet streaming broadcast partner. WWWYP streamed eight IHSA state final events during the 2009-10 school year and will expand to webcasting all IHSA sports on IHSA.tv in 2010-11, in addition to taking over the Association’s television broadcasts (Football, Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball).