TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansas broadcasters were on Capitol Hill Wednesday to talk with lawmakers about specific issues they would like to resolve in the broadcasting industry and support a particular piece of legislation that could benefit radio broadcasters.
According to Kansas Association of Broadcasters president Allison Mazzei, the Kansas State High School Athletics Association (KSHSAA) has an agreement with a national corporation that bans radio broadcasters from covering games. Mazzei also says that sometimes if the company decides not to stream a particular game, gamers’ friends and families don’t have the opportunity to watch the game from home.
“Currently, the Kansas State High School Athletics Association has an exclusive agreement with a national corporation that prohibits our local broadcasters from covering those games,” Mazzei said. “So, in some cases, when the national company decides not to stream, no one is allowed to cover the game. So, friends and families of the student-athletes are not allowed to watch [live stream]. So, we just want [a] free market: an equal right to stream postseason athletics.
However, a bill – Senate Bill 13 – that would allow radio stations to stream postseason athletics is under discussion, and KAB is seeking Senate approval.
“These broadcasters are local members of their communities,” Mazzei said. “They cover these kids and their sports all season long. Not only athletics, but also streaming concerts [and] parades, there are, and they are local and to deny them the right to cover post-season events is not fair. They also allow students interested in broadcasting to cover athletics and those students are also denied the opportunity to cover postseason events. So, we just think local sports should be covered by local broadcasters.”