A few months ago, I wrote about my growing frustration with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, which governs high school sports in Washington state. See: From the Publisher’s Desk: The WIAA’s takeover of high school athletic broadcasts.
To recap, for several years I have partnered with Mountlake Terrace High School’s journalism and broadcast programs to live stream Edmonds School District high school sporting events. Our efforts to cover teams as they progress to regional and state playoffs has been thwarted due to exorbitant “broadcast fees” charged for every contest — up to $1,000 per game for championship high school football broadcasts, for example — dictated by the WIAA’s 10-year contract with the privately owned NFHS Network.
Several readers agreed with me and even wrote emails and letters to the WIAA and state legislators. But Wednesday, the issue got much bigger, thanks to Jesse Jones from KIRO TV:
When I first wrote about this, I stated I didn’t think my opinion would change anything. But the opinions of many might. It’s important to protect the rights of high school students to learn their craft, cover their teams and own their work — and not be held hostage by a 10-year WIAA agreement that prevents them from doing so.
— Teresa Wippel, Publisher