APT & NFHS Network agree to 5-year extension of AHSAA Football & Basketball Championships TV contract

By:
0
1221

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The AHSAA is pleased to announce that Alabama Public Television (APT) and the NFHS Network/Play On Sports have agreed to extend the AHSAA TV contract for the Super 7 Football Championships and State Basketball Championships through the 2028-29 school year.

The five-year extension means every household in the state will continue to have the ability to tune in to the telecasts.  APT has been the TV anchor for the past two years, and through its vast network across the state, it has been able to make the AHSAA’s football and basketball championship games available to every household in Alabama resulting in by far the best viewership in AHSAA history.

“We are thrilled to announce our agreement with AHSAA and the NFHS Network, allowing Alabama Public Television to broadcast the high school football and basketball state championships for the next five years,” said Wayne Reid, Executive Director of Alabama Public Television. “Supporting education is a core part of APT’s mission, and this partnership is a fantastic way to showcase Alabama’s vibrant communities and outstanding student-athletes.

“We are thrilled to bring these games to the entire state of Alabama for free on broadcast television. APT reached over 1.2 million viewers in December 2023 and over 1 million viewers in March 2024 by adding football and basketball championship games to our schedule, solidifying APT as the broadcast station with the largest reach in the state of Alabama.”

Reid added, “It has been an honor to collaborate with (AHSAA retiring Executive Director) Alvin Briggs to bring the championships to the people of Alabama. He was a visionary in realizing this achievement. We wish Alvin all the best, and he will be dearly missed.”

Briggs has announced plans to retire later this summer.

The NFHS Network will continue to live stream the championships over its digital platform. Broadway Productions, the NFHS Network’s contracted producer managed by Vincent Earley, will continue to produce all finals as well as the basketball semifinals and finals.

APT is working with the NFHS Network, which is contracted to manage the linear and digital video, and Broadway Productions, which produces the contests annually. The agreement includes broadcasting live all seven boys’ state football finals and two girls’ flag football tournament finals, set for Birmingham’s Protective Stadium in December 4-6, 2024, and all 14 state boys’ and girls’ state basketball championship games at the BJCC Legacy Arena, Feb. 24-March 1, 2025, and each year thereafter through 2028-29. Broadway Productions also will continue to produce the semifinal games at the State Basketball Championships for the NFHS Network’s video live streaming platform. The NFHS Network also video live streams all 14  regional basketball championship games at all four sites. Approximately 385 AHSAA member schools are members of the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program.

“The partnership between the NFHS Network and the AHSAA has had so many wonderful accomplishments for the high school student-athletes of Alabama,” said Michael White, Executive Vice President for NFHS Network Content and Production. “We’re very happy to be announcing the extension of the relationship where the NFHS Network will continue to thrive as the digital home for the AHSAA, while Alabama Public Television will be the long-term partner delivering these marquee championships on statewide television. Mr. Briggs’ vision for how this relationship should work, has led the way to a wonderful outcome. We’re looking forward to great things to come for the high schools and student athletes of Alabama.”

Briggs said this new agreement is great news for AHSAA member schools.

“The joint venture with Alabama Public Television, the NFHS Network and Broadway/WOTM TV has been a tremendous plus for Super 7 State Football Championships and State Basketball Championships the last two years. This new agreement solidifies that collaboration for the next five years.”

Briggs added, “The AHSAA’s goal has always been to find a way to make the championship events available to all Alabamians. For the last two years we have reached that goal – thanks to APT’s commitment and the NFHS Network’s commitment. And now we can look forward to the next five years. What better way than to display just what educational athletics means to our schools and communities through our championship programs through our AHSAA TV Network partners.”

Earley, who has overseen the productions since 2019, said, “It is a great privilege providing television production for such great AHSAA events as the Super 7, basketball semifinals and finals, and baseball and softball championship games. With this new agreement and APT’s expansive reach across the state, we will be able to display The AHSAA’s outstanding student-athletes and teams while utilizing the highest quality production values.  We are looking forward to the next five years and working with the AHSAA, APT, and the NFHS Network.”

The NFHS Network, which manages the linear and digital portions of the AHSAA TV Network, has been live-streaming AHSAA championship events since 2013-14. Broadway Productions/WOTM TV of Sylacauga have partnered with the NFHS Network to produce a record number of events each year since 2019.