CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Katie Thomason has worked for KFCL-TV for two months and said she likes the work, even though this is her first job in broadcasting.
By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
For KFCL, opportunity knocked. Now, the Clovis television station will be helping stream that opportunity to the world.
The station is partnering with NMAA.tv to produce a live stream of every state basketball tournament game from The Pit in Albuquerque.
That’s 38 games, starting with Tuesday’s 8 a.m. Class 3A girls semifinal between Portales and Santa Fe Indian School, and ending with Saturday’s Class 5A boys championship.
The agreement is simple — NMAA.tv supplies the avenue for live feeds and student helpers, and KFCL supplies the equipment and instructors who work in the broadcasting field.
“For us, it’s a win that we get to offer our services and the use of our equipment,” said Brad Carignan, the station manager at KFCL.
Jim Williams owns the company that founded NMAA.tv. He said KFCL was an easy pick because it did quality broadcasts and he figured the station would be in Albuquerque anyway with Clovis ranked No. 1 in boys Class 5A most of the season.
“The reason we’re doing it is KFCL is already committed to putting on that broadcast,” Williams said. “We have plenty of radio people, but KFCL is a professional organization and they have a deep concern for programming … and a focus on (local) communities.”
Carignan said he’ll be bringing a crew of less than 10 to Albuquerque. That crew will be supplemented by what Williams estimates to be 25-30 high school students from across the state.
Those students, Williams said, will have their work archived online and get a chance to work with people already in the broadcasting field.
“I just want to give them a little more of a light into an actual broadasting job,” said Whitney Sledz, an editor at KFCL. “I know a lot of schools offer hands-on stuff, but they don’t get into the actual career of broadcasting.”
In trade for supplying equipment and training, KFCL receives a way to bring a live signal to Clovis. Carignan said the original plan was for KFCL to record all games involving area teams, then broadcast games on March 22 (and 23, if necessary).
He’s still planning that, but fans receive the online option as well.
KFCL is broadcast on UHF channel 41, Comcast channel 98 and SuddenLink channel 108. The station is showing tape-delayed broadcasts of Friday’s Portales girls game and Saturday’s Clovis boys game tonight at 6.
What is NMAA.tv?
• NMAA.tv was founded three years ago by Team Power Streams Network, a company owned by Jim Williams.
The network first streamed state championship games last year, and now has school pages with events like football games and high school graduations — like Clovis High’s 2007 ceremony.
“It’s not just a sports network,” Williams said. “It’s all comprehensive.”
• Williams has worked to broadcast state championship games for last two decades. The station he formerly worked with to broadcast those games could no longer broadcast those games because network programmers wouldn’t allow pre-empting of national programs.
• Advertising purchased through NMAA.tv stays in the archived broadcasts, Williams said, with 20 percent of revenues going to the NMAA Foundation, which provides scholarships to students and buys equipment for programs in need.
• Viewers must have a broadband Internet connection to watch events on NMAA.tv. Archived content is played through flash video, and streaming content is through Windows Media Player. Both programs are available online as free downloads, Williams said.
“We purposely designed it so you didn’t have to spend any money,” he said.