As a former cross country coach, Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Executive Director Bryan Bunselmeyer would assure his athletes that they would reap benefits in their performance — if they put in the work.
On the digital streaming playing field, Bunselmeyer said that TAPPS and its Executive Board – after five years of producing its state championship content on the NFHS Network – felt as if they hadn’t realized all of the potential benefits from their efforts.
“We were one of 30-plus organizations, even before the UIL, that signed on with the NFHS Network in 2013,” he said. “The first year, they did all of the work.
“The second year they helped, but the last three years, TAPPS has been doing all of own production work, mixing the content and hiring all of the broadcast talent.”
Believing the organization could realize more revenue than its former financial arrangement with the NFHS Network, which was created in 2013 as a joint venture between the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and PlayOn! Sports, now the nation’s largest high school sports media company, Bunselmeyer said its time for TAPPS to step out on well-researched faith.
“I think we have a good base of viewership,” he said. “We’re going to try and go out on our own.”
On Wednesday, TAPPS announced a new partnership with BlueFrame Technology, based in Lexington, Kentucky, to launch TAPPS TV, the organization’s new, digital video network that will feature live and on-demand coverage of TAPPS Championships along with content from TAPPS member schools who elect to partner with BlueFrame Technology.
A review of the NFHS Network’s website on Wednesday revealed that 24 of TAPPS’ member schools stream content at nfhsnetwork.com.
This weekend, TAPPS TV will launch with a tripleheader of action that will feature a girls volleyball match and football contests in both 11-man and six-man action.
Thursday, September 27, Fort Worth Christian, located in North Richland Hills, will host Carrollton Prince of Peace Christian at 6:00 p.m.
The Cardinals will be featured Friday night, September 28, in a non-district matchup against Midland Christian that will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, September 29, Lucas Christian Academy – a new TAPPS member school in 2018-2019 – will host six-man football action against Amarillo San Jacinto Christian Academy at 2 p.m.
All three athletic competitions will be available for free through a link from TAPPS’ website at http://www.tapps.biz/.
But BlueFrame Technology Director of Business Development and Partnerships’ Mark Krug says they’ll also be available in more places than online on your computer screen.
“This weekend, fans will be able to watch on the TAPPS TV mobile apps as well as the TV apps. The Roku app for TAPPS TV is available now and the others will be available on Thursday,” Krug said.
“Ultimately, fans will be able to access TAPPS TV from the TAPPS website (tapps.biz) and once their redesign of the site is done TAPPS TV will have its own section within that website.”
Wednesday’s release stated that TAPPS TV will be available through dedicated mobile apps (iOS and Android) and TV streaming apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Roku.
“BlueFrame is very excited about this partnership,” Krug said. “We have had great success in the college market and with the Indiana High School Athletic Association and believe our experience providing an end-to-end video streaming solution will result in great success for TAPPS.”
Bunselmeyer also pointed to BlueFrame’s partnership with the National Junior College Athletic Association and its NJCAA TV service.
There users can get a glimpse of the future of TAPPS TV, including a peek at a possible future pricing structure.
“BlueFrame was one of the many free streaming services like iHigh and the Cube,” Bunselmeyer said. “But they were one of the first to learn that you can’t provide it all for free.”
Bunselmeyer said that TAPPS and its Executive Board believes that of every three sets of eyes at one of its team sporting events one of them is not physically at the gymnasium or field of play.
He added that viewing on TAPPS TV “will be pay per view” and that the organization is looking at it as a potential revenue stream.
“It’s our Board’s view that it will be an alternative to TAPPS saying to our member schools, “Here’s our cost of doing business” and you divide it up among your students,” Bunselmeyer said. “While it might not reduce (member schools’) dues, it may keep an increase away.”
And it will all be part of a renewed focus by TAPPS, at the direction of its Executive Board, to create more publicity for the organization versus its member schools primarily waving the TAPPS flag high.
After the weekend’s initial broadcast trifecta, the Fall Soccer semifinal and championship matches, which will be held Wednesday and Thursday, October 17-18 in Round Rock, will be the next scheduled events on TAPPS TV.
— Jon Walk