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MailTribune.com
  • PREPS

    Prep games heading to Web

    Table Rock Sports to have video, audio of football, volleyball, soccer this fall
  • If you were expecting to hear high school football on KEZX Fox Sports 730-AM or KRTA 610-AM this Friday night, sorry.
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  • If you were expecting to hear high school football on KEZX Fox Sports 730-AM or KRTA 610-AM this Friday night, sorry.
    What you'll hear instead is Fox Sports Tonight on Fox Sports and, in all likelihood, Spanish music on KRTA.
    Not to worry, though. Joe Brett and the rest of the smooth-as-silk Table Rock Sports Network personalities have you covered.
    You'll just need to replace that radio with a computer or smart device. Type in tablerocksports.net and you'll soon be buried in local sports coverage that features live and archived audio and video.
    Best of all, it is free and without downloads.
    Table Rock Sports is moving exclusively to the Internet this school year. Its radio reach had diminished since it days on the FM airwaves, said Brett, Table Rock Sports co-owner. After successfully experimenting with some live web broadcasts last season, the network decided to fully commit to the newer medium in 2013.
    The switch makes promoting through social media more relevant and provides potential sponsors with exact viewer usage data, Brett said.
    "This is just an opportunity to expand our reach far beyond our local radio signals," Brett said. "We really feel like this is the wave of the future."
    What Brett and his crew plan to offer is nothing short of a sports smorgasbord. Every North Medford, South Medford and Crater football game, home and away, will be available in at least audio form with statistics and most will also feature video. In addition, St. Mary's home games can be seen there.
    And that's not all.
    The Table Rock crew is bringing to the Internet table what Brett said could never be offered on the radio: coverage of North Medford and South Medford volleyball and soccer home matches, plus basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball down the road.
    Up to 190 North Medford and South Medford events could be shown this year, Brett said.
    "We couldn't put other events on the radio because we could just barely get 10 football games and 20 basketball games on without interrupting some other programming," said Brett, who is also the operations and clients relations director at Rogue Valley Community Television. "Now we can engage a much broader audience."
    Table Rock uses a streaming software called Production Truck by iHigh.com. It allows the display of statistics, cutaways to announcers, zoom-in shots and commercials. A single high-definition camera will be used and, in most cases, two Table Rock employees will work the event.
    Table Rock is investing the money it would have used for radio to cover personnel costs and printing expenses, Brett said. The network has shared profits with participating schools since its creation in the early 1990s.
    "We think we can generate more profit for schools at a time when they really need it," Brett said.
    Brett acknowledged that some fans will not be happy with the change, but he asks only that they give the website a shot.
    "You can plug your smartphone into your car and hear a game live without looking at the screen," Brett said. "It is so much more rewarding for fans in the end to see kids play and not just paint the picture in their minds."
    All contests will be archived no later than the next morning on tablerocksports.net.
    Video may not always be available if a Table Rock broadcasting team has trouble gaining a strong Internet connection at away events, but audio and statistics should consistently work, Brett said.
    Brett will cover South Medford football and Michael Campbell, who previously had Crater, will cover North Medford. Joe Camarlinghi will be the voice of Comet football.
    Other Table Rock crew members include Bruce Franklin, Travis Million, Dan Hanbey, Darin Jansen and Tony Owens.
    Demi DeSoto's Game Night football show, which will preview area games, is on at 6 p.m. every Friday.
    Respective pre-game football coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday when South Medford football hosts West Salem, North Medford travels to McNary and Crater hosts Tualatin.
    For soccer and volleyball, pre-game coverage will start about 10 minutes before contests. The South Medford boys soccer team can be viewed playing South Eugene at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3; watch North Medford volleyball take on South Medford at 7 p.m. on Sept. 5; and see South Medford girls soccer host Bend at 6 p.m. on Sept. 6.
    Table Rock received about 20,000 views (live and archive combined) for about 15 football games and 25 basketball games in 2012 with minimal promotion, Brett said. Those were good numbers and he hopes to reach 50,000 this year, he said.
    At Ashland, local sports personality Bill Jacobs will cover Grizzly football. Live video, audio and statistics can be seen at ashlandfootballclub.com. Tune in about 15 minutes before kickoff.
    Cascade Christian football can be heard on KDOV, with a pre-game show beginning approximately 20 minutes before kickoff on 91.7-FM.
    Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com
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