Most Indiana high school broadcasts depend on advertisers.
Although it has advertisers, Indiana SRN — the state’s largest high school sports webcaster — is funded primarily by subscriptions and donations from schools.
“I tell our schools there are two ways to fund this. You can fund it directly out of your budget, or you can fundraise on your own,” Indiana SRN Chairman Jerry Collins said. “We will take your advertisers and place them. Most of the other competitors rely on (pizzerias) and car dealerships and that sort of thing.
The upside is that if the school raises more ad dollars or donations than the cost of the subscription, it can keep the difference, Collins said.
Keith Meyers, a Lawrence resident, is the 13-year-old founder and vice president of Lawrence Indiana SRN.
“We did internet radio before anyone thought of it,” Meyers said. “I think we were one of the first Internet radio networks in Indiana.”
SRN originally stood for Sports Radio Network, but the main focus now is webcasting. Meyers therefore said that the company only used the initials. This is the fourth year that SRN has hosted webcasts.
“People want to watch it more than listen to it,” Meyers said. “We still have probably 25% of our games on internet radio with schools like Frontier and Traders Point. We average four football games on Friday nights.
Then there are several broadcasts per week of football and volleyball matches Monday through Thursday and Saturday in the fall.
Meyers said SRN’s primary sports are soccer and basketball, but noted that the company webcasts almost all high school sports. It will add college football this fall when SRN begins webcasting the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Football Game of the Week on Oct. 2.
Covenant Christian is the oldest customer, having been with Indiana SRN for 11 years. Heritage Christian has been with her for five years and Guerin Catholic has been with her for four years. Traders Point Christian has been working there for three years.
“These four schools are our mainstays, but we’re everywhere,” Meyers said, adding that some schools rent out the network for particular games.
“Last year with COVID-19 we did 348 games,” Meyers said. “The year before, we were at over 300 gyms for basketball.”
Meyers said he serves as an announcer on at least three webcasts a week.
Collins, a Lawrence Township resident, joined the team in 2013. Collins helped Meyers develop the webcasts.
“Keith is doing the planning,” Collins said. “He hires and trains advertisers. He takes care of the contacts with the schools, and he is our sales representative. I maintain the website, I do the graphics, I manage the production teams and I take care of the accounting and invoicing.
Meyers said there were 26 independent broadcasters working with SRN. Meyers estimates six have been with SRN for five or more years. Among the announcers are Jimmy Cook, a producer on Dan Dakich’s radio show on WFNI, and WIBC reporter Kurt Darling.
“Bill Ludlow has been with me since day one,” Meyers said of the current Mt. Vernon broadcaster who has been calling high school sports for more than a decade.
In addition to games on SRN, Meyers said most schools also put webcasts on their website.
“Our slogan is, ‘We love putting the kids on TV so Grandma can watch Junior,'” Meyers said.
Adult contemporary Christian music is available on SRN 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We’ve reached over a million people in the past three years,” Meyers said.
New career direction
Before starting Indiana SRN, Keith Meyers was the athletic director of Horizon Christian School in the Geist area.
“We were a pretty good basketball team and nobody wanted to play against us,” Meyers said. “One day I woke up and the Lord gave me a vision to start internet radio. Our first customer was Horizon, and Bill Ludlow and I did our games. We got pretty good. said, ‘Why don’t you quit and do this full time?’ »
Meyers said a large part of the audience is at the game and will watch the replay.
“Every game we make goes on our YouTube channel,” Meyers said. “On Saturday mornings a lot of kids come back and watch the YouTube channel. That’s where our numbers really go up, it’s on our request and proofreading.
Collins pointed out that Covenant Christian’s coverage of baseball games helped senior pitcher Brock Buckley get a scholarship offer from Xavier University.
“He was recruited because a coach watched one of his games on our webcast and started following him,” said Collins.
To learn more, visit indianasrn.org.