State tournament games to be Webcast

By Kevin Wilson, Freedom New Mexico

For KFCL, opportunity knocked. Now, the Clovis television station will be helping stream that opportunity to the world.

The station is partnering with the New Mexico Activities Association and NMAA.tv to produce a live stream of every state basketball tournament game from The Pit in Albuquerque.

That’s 38 games, starting with Tuesday’s 8 a.m. Class 3A girls semifinal between Portales and Santa Fe Indian School, and ending with Saturday’s Class 5A boys championship.

The agreement is simple — NMAA.tv supplies the avenue for live feeds and student helpers, and KFCL supplies the equipment and instructors who work in the broadcasting field.

“For us, it’s a win that we get to offer our services and the use of our equipment,” said Brad Carignan, the station manager at KFCL.

Jim Williams owns the company that founded NMAA.tv. He said KFCL was an easy pick because it did quality broadcasts and he figured the station would be in Albuquerque anyway with Clovis ranked No. 1 in boys Class 5A most of the season.

“The reason we’re doing it is KFCL is already committed to putting on that broadcast,” Williams said. “We have plenty of radio people, but KFCL is a professional organization and they have a deep concern for programming … and a focus on (local) communities.”

Carignan said he’ll be bringing a crew of less than 10 to Albuquerque. That crew will be supplemented by what Williams estimates to be 25-30 high school students from across the state.

Those students, Williams said, will have their work archived online and get a chance to work with people already in the broadcasting field.

“I just want to give them a little more of a light into an actual broadasting job,” said Whitney Sledz, an editor at KFCL. “I know a lot of schools offer hands-on stuff, but they don’t get into the actual career of broadcasting.”

In trade for supplying equipment and training, KFCL receives a way to bring a live signal to Clovis. Carignan said the original plan was for KFCL to record all games involving area teams, then broadcast games on March 22 (and 23, if necessary).

He’s still planning that, but fans receive the online option as well.

KFCL is broadcast on UHF channel 41, Comcast channel 98 and SuddenLink channel 108. The station is showing tape-delayed broadcasts of Friday’s Portales girls game and Saturday’s Clovis boys game tonight at 6.