Nordonia’s ‘Knights TV’ begins partnership with Community Focus

by Martin McConnell

Nordonia High School’s “Knights TV” athletics streaming program has operated on student knowledge and equipment since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the program is getting a technological boost for this football season.

Knights TV will refine its streaming process and reach more viewers through the program’s partnership with Spectrum’s Community Focus television channel. Streaming will still be available on the Knights TV YouTube channel, but will also make the jump to television.

Alex Byers is a 2017 graduate of Nordonia, a firefighter for the Massillon Fire Department, and the founder and director of Knights TV. Along with a handful of students, he has been streaming nearly every Nordonia Knights home game for several sports since 2021.

“This is my side job, I started this in 2021,” Byers said. “[COVID made it so that] you can’t come to games, so why don’t we livestream stuff? We partnered with Community Focus because we saw their livestreams. It’s grown into a giant partnership.”

Byers stated that the Knights TV streaming station is technologically “state of the art,” especially for a high school streaming facility. Working in conjunction with Community Focus has allowed the school to gain a stronger foothold in the world of televised and streamed high school sports.

The ‘Knights TV’ control room allows for monitoring of all streamed sporting events.

“We started this, and then they [Community Focus] contacted us to kind of see what’s happening,” Byers said. “We stream not only to our YouTube channel, ‘Knights TV,’ but also to them. What they give us, if we ever need, is equipment, cables and cameras.”

Currently, Knights TV only has the capability to stream Nordonia home games, but there is a chance the stream may carry away games in the future.

“Both of our systems here are actually built-in,” Byers said. “The one thing that we’re working on right now is actually buying a system, another one … and making it portable, and we can take it to [away games].”

Along with working on away games, Byers has goals for how he wants to make the stream feel even more like a professional broadcast.

“We want to incorporate custom graphics that I’ve created,” Byers said. “Getting commercials played, [and] we do want to incorporate live announcers.”

Although the stream is an athletics endeavor by trade, the station has ambitions to stream outside of the world of sports. Specifically, Byers mentioned wanting to cover the world of fine arts.

“We do a giant Winter Arts Festival concert here which features all of our bands,” Byers said. “Getting that streamed live would be awesome. I would love to stream our band competitions.”

Knights TV streams will be available through their YouTube channel, “Knights TV,” and through Community Focus, Spectrum channel 1021 this fall and winter. ∞

Featured Photo: The ‘Knights TV’ logo is displayed on the window outside the main control room. Photos by Martin McConnell