WLCN will provide coverage of the LCHS Lady Railers from the IHSA Class 3A State Tournament at CEFCU Arena (formerly Redbird Arena) in Normal. However, due to IHSA regulations, our coverage will be modified from what we’ve been able to do up through the Super-Sectional game. To summarize:
- Because of its popularity, WLCN will stream its radio broadcast via our YouTube channel. IHSA rules prohibit us from showing video of live game action, but we will provide some video imagery during pregame, halftime, postgame, breaks and timeouts.
- WLCN will provide radio coverage on 96.3 FM and via the Mixlr app/web site.
WLCN, like all media outlets, must abide by the IHSA policies for media coverage for the state tournament. Some of those policies which impact what WLCN is allowed to do for its state tournament coverage include:
- Individual media outlets are not allowed to provide live videostream coverage of game action. The IHSA has partnered with the NFHS Network to provide exclusive live videostream coverage of state tournament games; individuals can purchase live videostream coverage of the state tournament games via the NFHS Network for a designated fee (a link for information about the NFHS is provided at the bottom of this post).
- The IHSA allows only affiliated television stations to air its live television broadcast of games.
- Qualifying media outlets can record a designated amount (a certain length of time) of highlights to be shown during newscasts.
- All media outlets get equal access to all teams. This means the media interviews coaches and players who are part of the press conferences organized by the IHSA; individual interviews may continue after each team’s official press conference ends depending on time constraints.
Due to these rules, WLCN’s coverage during the state tournament will differ from the coverage we’ve been able to provide prior to the state tournament. Our radio/Mixlr broadcast will generally be unchanged (other than perhaps the coach being unavailable for the postgame show). WLCN’s YouTube coverage will be modified to adhere to all pertinent IHSA rules.
WLCN will have its usual pregame and halftime shows, and we may have additional breaks due to the IHSA television broadcast. When we are not airing commercials or sponsor acknowledgements during breaks, we will bring you non-game action video images from our vantage point at the state tournament to show the sights and sounds of what is happening at the venue. Depending on the setup and accessibility, we may try to provide coverage of the postgame press conference with the coach and players.
During the actual game (when we are not allowed to stream video of the live game action), the announcer audio from our radio broadcast will be available along with a screen of information about the game, including a scoreboard, sponsor acknowledgements, and any other items we are able to provide to enhance our game coverage. We continue to work on a format for presenting information during the live game action.
It may seem counterintuitive to livestream these state tournament games on YouTube–a channel for streaming videos–when WLCN is not allowed to show any live game action. However, with YouTube being as popular and readily accessible as it is, and after speaking with a representative from the IHSA about this type of coverage, it was decided that bringing our audience the reduced YouTube coverage IHSA rules allow WLCN to provide from the state tournament is a better option than not providing any YouTube coverage. While we do offer online audio streaming of games via the Mixlr app, during the recent sectional final against Rochester, statistics indicated there were roughly 16 times more people following the game via YouTube than via Mixlr. We know it will be different, and we are sorry we can not show live game action video as we have provided up to this point. However, as we must abide by the IHSA rules for media outlets, this seems to be our best option for provide some kind of local coverage by WLCN.
There are still options for those who want to watch the action live. The IHSA provides television coverage of the girls’ state tournament via a network of stations. Locally (in the Lincoln area), the girls’ state finals are slated to be carried on television by WEEK-TV in Peoria as well as WCIX-TV in Champaign. As shown in the accompanying screenshot from the IHSA March Madness app, there are other television stations in and around Illinois which will carry the tournament. In addition, those not in a broadcast area for television coverage can view streamed video for a fee via the NFHS Network.
Of course, we encourage any and all who can to attend the games in person to support the LCHS Lady Railers as they continue toward a state championship. We know, however, that not everyone can attend due to job commitments, not being local, or other reasons. We apologize for the inconvenience of not being able to stream live video of these next two exciting Lady Railer basketball games. We appreciate all the support and kind words for our livestream coverage to this point, and WLCN will continue to try to provide the best coverage we can while abiding by the rules and regulations set by the IHSA.
Below are some relevant links to additional information:
- IHSA press release about coverage of the IHSA Girls’ State Tournament
- Press release about the IHSA March Madness app for smartphones
- A list of television stations carrying the IHSA Girls’ State Tournament
- Information about the NFHS Network, which is the exclusive provider of live online videostreaming of the IHSA girls’ state tournament
- Link to purchase tickets to the LCHS Lady Railers semi-final game against Highland HS 3/3/23 11:45 AM game (note: tickets are good for both the 10 AM and 11:45 Class 3A semi-final games)