ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Northwest Access TV is providing thousands in Franklin County an opportunity to watch live high school sports for free this winter.
Working closely with the athletic directors at Bellows Free Academy – St. Albans, Missisquoi Valley Union, Enosburg Falls, and Richford Junior Senior High Schools, Northwest Access TV is executing a plan to stream every basketball and hockey game this winter season at no cost to the viewer.
The last few years, Franklin County’s public access station has quickly increased its streaming capabilities for live events like local sports. “It started out as maybe we could do a few of the big rivalries and quickly grew to a few dozen last year,” said Executive Director Paul Snyder.
With the pandemic keeping fans at home while teams compete in an empty gym or rink, Northwest Access TV jumped at the chance to continue its mission to serve the community.
“This year provided us with a unique opportunity because of COVID-19. I kept thinking, if I had a kid playing sports at the school and I wasn’t able to attend, I would do anything I could to watch him or her play. So, I asked my staff, why not cover every game?” said Snyder. With successful connections tested at the BFA and MVU establishments (Highgate Arena added this year), the eastern side of the county presented some challenges.
In late 2020, Enosburg Falls and Richford High Schools accepted an offer from NFHS Network via the Vermont Principals Association to receive a free sports broadcasting camera in return for live streaming all varsity games to NFHS Network for the next five years.
“This meant we needed to get even more creative with how we could still serve our community,” said Snyder.
Because NFHS Network is a subscription based streaming platform, Northwest Access TV has offered to pay for one membership per varsity basketball athlete at Enosburg & Richford for the 2021 winter season. “This will allow those parents or family members at home to continue to watch their kids/students for free as if they were watching our coverage,” said Snyder. “We needed to figure out a way to provide the same free service that we’re planning for BFA and MVU and this is the solution we came up with.”
Enosburg and Richford administrations will work with the families of student-athletes to coordinate a reimbursement program with the funds donated by Northwest Access TV.
“Thank you for working with us to find a way to keep NWA-TV engaged in our high school sports programs… to pay the subscriptions for all varsity families is one more way that you (NWA-TV) have shown us how much you care about our students and communities,” said Lynn Cota, FNESU Superintendent.
Crews at Northwest Access TV are ready to bring everyone in the Franklin County community exciting live local sports broadcasts upon the start of the season when the state’s administration gives the go-ahead for competitive play.
For more information, contact Northwest Access TV at 802-782-8676 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org