The UIL announced today that the Live-Streaming ban will be officially lifted for the 2020 season. Citing the COVID-19 Pandemic, and in an attempt to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the UIL made the decision to help make these games more accessible to fans for the upcoming fall season.
Press release below:
2020-2021 UIL Regular Season Football Telecast Info
In an effort to increase accessibility of high school football games and encourage social distancing across Texas, the UIL will allow live telecasts of high school football games on Friday nights during the regular season with the exception of linear telecasts on September 25, 2020. A telecast is defined as any live or tape-delayed video footage of a contest in its entirety that can be transmitted through television, Internet Web stream, Webcast, video podcast, smart phone apps, tablet computer apps, closed-circuit channels, weather cameras or any other medium.
This temporary suspension of Section 868(c) of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, which prohibits live telecasts of regular season football games on Friday, is only for the 2020-21 school year, and must be done in accordance with following:
- No linear telecasts will be permitted on Friday, September 25, 2020 unless already permitted by Section 868(c) PILOT PROGRAM.
- Only webcasts will be permitted on Friday, September 25, 2020.
- With prior approval by their school administration, the Home Team may have one digital webcast transmitted on the Internet and one linear telecast on television per game, provided that there is adequate space for the Visiting Team webcast production.
- With prior approval by their school administration, the Visiting Team may have one digital webcast transmitted on the Internet per game.
- Webcasts may be on any media platform approved by the school.
- All telecasts must adhere to UIL telecast guidelines and advertisement restrictions.
For the full press release you can view it here.
The UIL had met about this back in June when the committee met about this monumental decision.
Dr. Charles Breithaupt took the floor mentioning how special the 100th year of UIL high school football has the potential to be, “Our plan is to start on time with a full schedule and full stands. That’s our hope.”
“You know I have always stood for protecting Friday night,” Breithaupt said. “I do believe this is a time for us to stand down on our Friday night broadcasting rule [temporarily].” Breithaupt was given the authority to overrule the no-action decision to which he took full advantage of. “This will end following this football season,” Breithaupt said. Breithaupt wants to give people who are fearful of COVID-19 a chance to watch the events.
“These times call for flexibility, but I’m encouraged to hear this is not a long-term plan.” Dr. Poole said.
The ban will go back into effect post the 2020 season; should the COVID-19 Pandemic have subsided and fans are allowed back at games, and stadiums are allowed to be back at max capacity.