SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Ten football games, 43 basketball games and nine baseball games; that’s how many games have livestreamed on KELOLAND.com over the past ten months.
Football season is one of the toughest when it comes to trying to decide which game to livestream.
Football Friday’s are some of the most exciting days of the year when it comes to sports. However, when there are 57 games in one night, at the same time, it is very tough to decide which one to livestream.
Rankings are an important factor when deciding a football game. The first game I streamed was August 30, 2020 and that was in Brookings. We went to the game because it was third ranked Brookings vs. fourth ranked Huron.
Football had its challenges as we tried to stream in some cold weather, but only one game had rain.
I had the chance to call ten football games last fall, but I think the best game I called was Tea vs. Dell Rapids in the final regular season game of the season. It was a close game that came down to the wire.
As the calendar turned to December, the sports season changed to baseketball.
KELOLAND.com streamed 43 games in just 89 days.
Basketball created more of an opportunity to select different towns and stream more games. We streamed several double headers and even a couple times that we streamed three games in one afternoon or evening.
In basketball we focused on two things: trying to find good, competitive games and also trying to find a variety of teams in those games.
We streamed 43 games that featured nearly 40 different teams from as far west as St. Thomas More and as far north as Sisseton or Aberdeen.
We were able to cover a much larger area of schools in basketball.
From a livestream aspect, basketball was the hardest of three sports as there was very limited time between breaks. Baseball and football have a break after each play/pitch, but in basketball, there are times you can play eight minutes without a pause in the action.
There were several competitive basketball games including Colman-Egan boys vs. De Smet, Lennox boys vs. Dakota Valley and O’Gorman girls vs. Harrisburg.
However, the best game in my opinion was the game that Matthew Mors set the class ‘AA’ scoring record and Watertown upset top ranked Yankton.
One of the most fun stories through the pandemic is the story top livestreams games of the year. You can read that story above.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on sports in South Dakota, which resulted in a 93 day break from livestreaming.
When we finally got some sports back, we attempted to find a game that was close by to dip our toes back into streaming live sports again.
The first game back was between Lennox and Beresford, which featured an extra inning game.
We have only livestreamed baseball for three weeks, but we have found nine games, most of which have been competitive.
When it comes to choosing baseball games, the main focus is finding a game that will be competitive. Baseball isn’t as public as other sports, so there is a lot more research involved in the process of picking a baseball game.
Baseball is similar to basketball where tournaments bring teams from all around the state, and that gives us the opportunity to show a team from across the state.
Teams such as Pierre, Watertown, Brookings and Yankton have already been featured in our livestreams, and we’ve only done nine games.
As the summer goes on, we’ll continue to add to the list of teams from across the state.
I’ve had a lot of competitive games so far, but two of them stand out.
An obvious choice is when Sioux Falls East beat Sioux Falls West via a walk off single.
However, another game that was really good was Renner vs. Brandon Valley. If you’re a fan of good pitching and defense, this was the game to watch.
Renner earned a 1-0 win thanks to a great pitching performance from Austin Henry.
I try to make livestreaming convenient for the viewers that are watching it live, but also the people who will re-watch the game over the next month or so.
I’ve had people tell me that they have watched a game several months after the game was streamed.
While we hope it’s convenient for the viewers, it does take quite a bit of time and effort to make the stream go as smoothly as it does.
A few hours before the game, I am working on a pregame story to provide viewers with the information about the teams and where they can watch the game.
The next step is to grab the seven pieces of equipment that is needed to stream the games.
I have streamed in press boxes and bleachers, but I’m usually unsure where my spot will be. Due to that, I get to the field/court an hour early in an effort to find the best spot to shoot the action.
As the game carries on, there are several things to pay attention to such as battery levels on the microphone and camera, is the stream still on air and much more.
All of that makes the play-by-play a little difficult at times.
Once the game is over, the gear gets packed up and returned to the station.
The next step is the post-game story in which I post a story about the game and a place for fans to watch highlights and the full game.
When I livestream, I have one goal in mind and that is to bring the best experience I can.
I treat every game like it’s the Super Bowl broadcast and I have ten million fans watching.
It’s the passion for sports and the love of the game that makes play-by-play as easy as it is.
I’ve told you my favorite games, but I haven’t told you what my favorite thing about livestreaming is.
I love the positive feedback from fans and parents, but the best thing is seeing the players get the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the entire state of South Dakota and sometimes even further.
I’ve heard several people tell me that their family in Minnesota, Iowa, Texas or even Arizona was watching the game.
The tenth baseball game to livestream on KELOLAND.com will be Friday, June 26 and feature Miner/McCook vs. Dell Rapids.
That game starts at 7:00 and you can see the game by clicking on the link below: