With a grant provided by the Redwood High School Foundation, Redwood TV students began using new and advanced technological equipment to live stream sporting events on April 20. Due to pandemic-related restrictions that limit sports fan attendance
, this new technology is a much-needed option for Redwood sports fans. Live streaming will provide benefits and expanded access for students and families for years to come.
In the fall of 2020, the Redwood TV supervisor, Erik Berkowitz, presented to the Redwood Foundation board members with a proposal to purchase equipment. According to the current Chair of Allocations, Vicki Strotz, this allowed them to broadcast sporting events live as a solution to the limited capacity of sporting fans permitted due to COVID-19.
“[The Redwood Foundation] thought it was a great idea and supports the whole community of students, family members, and neighbors who want to enjoy sporting events,” Strotz said.
The Redwood TV team received the new equipment in late January and with a few modifications, were ready to use it in early March.
“The hardest part was actually getting kids who were available and interested to learn [how to use the equipment],” Berkowitz said.
Due to the demanding schedules of Redwood TV students, there are currently only four students who have been trained with the equipment. Sophomore and Redwood TV student Sam Marsh said that the four students are managing and have a system going thus far.
The four students are being trained by Peter Parish, the previous Redwood TV supervisor. Once they have learned to use the equipment, it will be their job to teach students who are interested in the future.
Berkowitz also noted that Redwood TV is planning to create a YouTube channel dedicated to streaming sports. This is where sports fans will be able to watch the events live, or if they cannot watch them live, the videos will be uploaded and available to the public.
“Sports fans can look forward to being able to watch games at home if, for example, they could not make it because of COVID-related concerns,” Marsh said.
Eventually, as more events occur on campus, live streaming will be accessible for other Redwood programs. Both Berkowitz and the Foundation hope this new addition to the Redwood TV platform will not only benefit sports fans but other programs, students, and their supporters as well.
“[Redwood TV] could end up being able to live stream musical or theatre performances. The Redwood Foundation loves to support activities that are going to benefit both students and the community,” Strotz said.
Marsh is also pushing for the possibility of live streaming other events. This capability will open Redwood TV to new audiences while simultaneously allowing Redwood TV episodes to gain coverage all over Redwood and the community.
Even without COVID-19, the Redwood Foundation Board believes this would have been a worthwhile grant to fund.
“People cannot go see all the games they would love to see even post COVID-19 restrictions. We want to provide that opportunity and access for people,” Berkowitz said.
Additionally, Berkowitz has been working with Redwood’s athletic director, Jessica Peisch, to include a variety of sports in their live streams. Once they have successfully recruited more students to train with the equipment, they can devise a system to stream as many events as possible.
“My favorite part of the process has been learning how live streaming production works. With a live stream, there is not much opportunity for polishing or rough cuts, but I look forward to seeing what will happen and how we can get it to be the best content possible,” Marsh said.