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The Minnesota State High School League and its television partner KSTC-TV, Channel 45 have extended their agreement for the live broadcast of select state tournament events through 2021. In addition, the agreement expands the scope of live coverage of League state tournaments via free Web streaming. The new agreement also provides for KSTC-TV to expand marketing opportunities that will benefit both the League and the television station.

"We are extremely excited to have earned the faith of the League's Board of Directors to allow us to extend our contract and expand the coverage of state tournaments with the advent of free live Webcasting," said Susan Wenz, Station Manager of KSTC-TV. "Our partnership with the League to date has been fantastic and the extension of the contract, with the accompanying commitment to expanding coverage via the Web, as well as additional marketing opportunities at these events, will assist the station in our branding as the exclusive source for high school sports and will assist the League in providing additional live coverage of events that are not currently televised."

Beginning with the current school year, four state tournaments will be available free of charge for viewing on the Web, produced by KSTC-TV in partnership with GrandStadium. The 2009 State Girls' Volleyball Tournament, the 2010 State Wrestling Tournament, the 2010 State Girls' Softball Tournament and the 2010 State Baseball Tournament will be Webcast live on 45.GrandStadium.tv. In each of the subsequent three years through the 2012-13 seasons, additional events will either be Webcast live or taped for later special highlight presentation on the 45.GrandStadium.tv Web site.

"As most everyone can imagine, there is an increasing interest in adding additional League-sponsored tournaments to the existing live coverage for football, hockey and basketball," explained Dave Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League. "In order for a television station to be interested in providing live coverage, there has to be an interest on the part of advertisers to support the broadcasts, which are quite an expensive undertaking. The evolution of video applications to the World Wide Web offers an exciting opportunity to provide similar live coverage at a fraction of the cost while at the same time giving fans anywhere with access to a computer the chance to follow the event live - and at no cost to them."

The League, KSTC-TV and GrandStadium will continually monitor the interest in the tournament Webcasts and consider expansion of coverage to section tournaments and possibly even select regular season contests.


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