Ka-ching! Federal appeals court says athletic groups can charge for Internet broadcasts of high school football

Light bulbs – presumably fluorescent, energy-saving ones – have just appeared over the heads of scores of revenue-hungry, high school football coaches in Georgia.

From Gannett Wisconsin Media:

CHICAGO — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is constitutionally entitled to sign exclusive contracts for Internet streaming of high school sporting events, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The decision has national implications for media organizations that hoped to produce online broadcasts of sporting events free from restrictions by state athletic associations. It stems from a lawsuit against the Appleton Post-Crescent; its parent company Gannett Co. Inc.; and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

“We conclude that WIAA’s exclusive broadcasting agreements for Internet streaming are consistent with the First Amendment,” a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a 33-page ruling.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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15 comments Add your comment

Danny O

August 26th, 2011
9:29 am

Large broadcast contracts have been great for the college game, so only good can come out of this. Also, they should execute more big uniform and apparel contracts so the high school coaches can get paid some real cheese. High school football could be even further improved by doing away with playoffs and implementing a computerized ranking system. All that stuff is really good for the kids.

Sideshow Bill

August 26th, 2011
9:29 am

I can’t wait for the recruiting scandals where the high schools are hiring hookers for the middle school recruits….

Danny O

August 26th, 2011
9:32 am

Good call, Sideshow Bill. But those kids in middle school will never have a shot at the big time if they don’t work hard in Pop Warner. Any third grader who isn’t doing two-a-days in July and August just doesn’t want it bad enough.


August 26th, 2011
9:48 am

high school football is over rated and boring………


August 26th, 2011
9:54 am

@Danny O and @Sideshow it’s happening more than you know. @TIM what instrument did you play?


August 26th, 2011
10:03 am

I played HS football and even I find it boring now. It’s generally one or two elite players running circles around a bunch of other kids. Thrilling. I guess if you live in Small Town, America…there probably isn’t much else to do on a Friday night though.

Well, if we finally get around to paying college players for the billions they bring in, maybe we can start the “Should HS athletes be paid?” argument next.

Big Daddy

August 26th, 2011
10:30 am

I went to a high school game once. I’d rather watch a ping-pong tournament.

Politi Cal

August 26th, 2011
10:32 am

I’m with you Big Daddy, but the issue here is an important one. I have to side with the schools here; they “own” the product, and if the internet broadcasters are deriving a profit, the school are due their fair share. That’s pretty much the concept that has made the King family rich.

Joe Mama

August 26th, 2011
11:00 am

San Dimas High School Football GO!


Junior Samples

August 26th, 2011
11:28 am


August 26th, 2011
12:11 pm

How does this affect the Dawgs’ 2012 recruiting class?

Jon Lester

August 26th, 2011
12:17 pm

To the extent that it helps defray expenses, most people wouldn’t find it unreasonable, but these netcasts generally haven’t built tremendous viewership levels yet, and until they do, it might be a better idea to find sponsorships from local business first.


August 26th, 2011
12:25 pm

Holy cow. These kids are for the most part under 18 and unable to sign contracts, and adults are fighting over the money they can produce. Some REAL adults need to step in and derail this crap. Oh, wait, we’re talking about sports, the odds are somewhere between zero and none.


August 26th, 2011
1:07 pm

Any money coming from HS sports broadcasts should go to the local school board to help reduce property tax. If we are going to use these kids to make money it should go back into the pockets of those of us who pay for the public schools.

red light redistrict

August 26th, 2011
1:51 pm

I played HS football. I played college fooseball. I played adult nerf football. I excelled at all three, and even used my athletic prowess to get laid. I ruled once. Things were great. .