UIL Reacts to COVID Restrictions by Allowing Live Video Streaming

Roughrider game carried on Twitch.tv at roughridersports page.

October 22, 2020 - For decades, Texas high school football broadcasts have been regulated by the University Interscholastic League. The traditional radio coverage is a long tradition in Texas, but video broadcasts of any kind have been prohibited for Friday night games in hopes that fans would actually attend the events. But since audiences have been limited due to COVID restrictions, the UIL has rescinded the video ban for this season.

For Roughrider fans, that means video coverage of the district season and playoffs will be available at the streaming service Twitch.tv. Type Twitch.tv into the address bar then search for roughridersports page. There you will find a simulcast of the KDET radio broadcast and the video provided by Watlington/Shires Productions.

"It's been a long goal of ours to provide video coverage of local sports events," Stephen Shires said. "All along we've targeted basketball video and it's taken us two years to work out the internet issues. So we're looking forward to hoops, and then the opportunity to experiment with football coverage has presented itself and we're excited about that, too."

Fans have listened to games on KDET for 70 years, and for viewers on Twitch, it will be the same experience but enriched by the video.

"It's not like there is a competing service taking listeners away from local radio," Chris Watlington said. "The audio feed is coming straight from KDET 930 am, just like always. Same announcers, same sponsors, same on-field interviews. Except for the rest of this season, you'll get a chance to see the action."

Friday's game will be a one-camera presentation, but a more varied production is in the works.

"It's like a hobby--we're spending time and money to provide a more professional experience," Watlington said. "So it's like a 'professional hobby.'"

The pregame begins on both video and audio Friday night at 7:00.