Seating has been limited to anywhere from 20-25 percent capacity for athletic events in Pinellas County this fall. But fans can still watch many of those games from home after the NFHS Network and The Identity Tampa Bay each struck deals with the school district.
The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Network has already installed Pixellot cameras at the football stadiums and gymnasiums of all 16 public schools in Pinellas County. The deal is similar to the one set up in Hillsborough County last year.
Every athletic event in those venues will be available to watch on the NFHS Network for $10.99 a month.
The Identity Tampa Bay also announced a content agreement with the NFHS Network and the school district to stream a series of games featuring Pinellas County public schools on its platform for free. The digital network, which is part of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s entertainment company, will steam three to four football and volleyball games each week in the fall.
The plan is to rotate games so each of the county’s public schools can be seen at least once. More games (about eight weekly) will be available for winter sports, such as basketball and soccer.
“We are very excited about our partnership with The Identity Tampa Bay and the NFHS Network which will allow the community to stream Pinellas high school sports on their personal devices from anywhere,” Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said in a statement. “Moreover, it will allow us to promote our Pinellas County teams and athletes to a much wider audience.”
Bennett stressed the benefit of having a streaming service available last week when he announced seating reductions for football (25 percent capacity) and volleyball (no fans the first two weeks followed by 20 percent capacity).
The NFHS also has installed Pixellot cameras at Pasco County high schools, though there is no partnership yet with The Identity Tampa Bay.