The HAN Network announced this week that it is exiting the live sports broadcasting business and suspending its broadcast operations. This decision comes at the completion of a 3-year contract with the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference for the rights to broadcast high school sports for member schools, as well as the conference playoffs and championships.
“We are very proud of the financial investment we made in the FCIAC as well as the body of work our broadcasting team produced,” said Martin V. Hersam, CEO of the HAN Network. “[FCIAC Commissioner] Dave Schulz and his predecessor, John Kuczo, as well as each athletic director of the member schools, do an incredible job of putting the student-athletes first while building and maintaining the premier athletic conference in the State of Connecticut. It has been an absolute privilege to work so closely with them and their students,” Hersam continued.
The HAN Network broadcast approximately 125 games, playoffs and championships during each of the three years of the contract. The network also broadcast interviews with captains of every sport at all the FCIAC schools prior to the beginning of each of the three seasons.
“This was our way of making sure as many student athletes and sports as possible were represented in the course of a season,” Hersam said. “We are very proud of that.”
Hersam stated that the move away from live streaming of sports was part of an overall review of the company’s strategic initiatives. He said that the streaming service ultimately did not meet the company’s internal financial targets, necessary to commit to another 3-year contract with the league.
“We had many loyal advertisers who appreciated the large audiences we were able to generate with each broadcast and through each season. We appreciate their support and we hope to see that support continue for the FCIAC,” said Hersam.
“We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with the HAN Network. They’ve been a good partner and we look forward to continuing working with them through the summer during this transition,” Schulz said.
“The future of live streaming for the league and the schools is very bright,” Hersam said. “The Darien Athletic Foundation’s student broadcast program is doing amazing work while deploying cutting-edge technology. Other schools, like New Canaan and Ludlowe, are primed to expand and upgrade their very solid live-streaming programs. These students are great broadcasters, directors and producers. They are backed by great educators as well as a handful of tireless parents and generous benefactors who are equally as enthusiastic. It is an exciting time.”
The HAN Network owns and operates 12 newspapers and various news and lifestyle websites in Fairfield County, as well as The Vermont News Guide in Manchester, Vt. HAN Network is also the parent company of Trumbull Printing, a 60,000-square-foot printing operation serving a large client list of publishers from Philadelphia to New Hampshire.