AUSTIN, Texas — The University Interscholastic League has lifted the Friday night broadcast rule for the 2020 football season.
UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt says their plan is to start the 2020 #TXHSFB season on time with a full schedule and full stands, but the broadcast ban will be done away with for the upcoming season only.
Radio stations have been allowed to broadcast high school football games for some time, so the lifting of the ban pertains to television/digital broadcasts.
Currently, per Section 868(c) of the UIL handbook, UIL member schools are cannot allow the live telecast of a regular season football game on a Friday night. Live telecasts and other types of live broadcasts of UIL football post-regular season games shall be permitted if provided for in a UIL broadcast rights contract
Until the UIL releases official information regarding implementation around this issue, the current rule remains in place. Pending guidance from state authorities, further information will be forthcoming prior to the start of the 2020 football season.
"I do believe this is a time for us to stand down on our Friday night broadcast rule— not permanently, just for a one-time venture," said Dr. Breithaupt. "Because we know this, there will many people who stay away because they are fearful, particularly our elderly and our senior citizens. We want to give them a chance to see the game based on what the local district allows. The agreement between two schools to broadcast the game either digitally or on a linear product would exists for just this year. The UIL has no interest in getting involved in those conversations unless you need out assistance. We're not going to gain one thing from this. It just gives people a chance to see the game that wouldn't ordinarily come because of COVID-19."
He went on to say lifting the rule would give local school districts the opportunity to negotiate something on their own or to do a student broadcast back to their respective communities.
"I have no notion to carry this forward after this year," said Dr. Breithaupt. "This will end following this football season."
The fall of 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of UIL high school football.