Red Carpet Bowl games will be livestreamed
Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023
The Red Carpet Bowl will be televised — or, at least, livestreamed.
After initially deciding not to allow an online broadcast of Friday’s football games, Red Carpet Bowl chairman John Newton said the organizing committee reversed course Wednesday and worked out a compromise with the Vicksburg Warren School District to permit it.
Newton said there are still details to work out, but the main points are that the school district will pay a small media rights fee and include ads for Red Carpet Bowl sponsors during the broadcast.
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Broadcast fees for high school games are normally around $100 per game but vary from school to school.
“They are going to help us out and put our sponsors’ logos up there,” Newton said. “We worked out the compromise so it would be beneficial to the people livestreaming and the Red Carpet Bowl.”
The 2023 Red Carpet Bowl is Friday at 7 p.m. Warren Central will play Clinton at WC’s Viking Stadium, while Vicksburg High will play Holmes County Central at VHS’ Memorial Stadium. The game was changed from its usual doubleheader format to two simultaneous games because of concerns about excessive heat that is in the forecast for Friday.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate and must be purchased online through GoFan.co.
Most home sports events involving Vicksburg Warren School District teams are streamed online through the NFHS Network subscription service. However, the relationship between the VWSD and the Red Carpet Bowl is unique and complex.
Although Vicksburg High and Warren Central participate every year and the games are played at their stadiums, they are contracted to play in the game rather than hosting it like a normal football game. The schools are paid to play by the Red Carpet Bowl, and as such the committee has some say on matters such as live streaming.
Initially, Newton said the decision was made to not allow the games to be livestreamed in order to help increase live attendance. Backlash on social media and within the community on Wednesday, however, forced the committee to reconsider.
“(The backlash) was part of it, too,” Newton said.
The football games serve as the primary fundraiser for the Red Carpet Bowl’s scholarship fund and other operating expenses. The Red Carpet Bowl is a non-profit organization. It has a reserve fund to weather lean years, but otherwise is required to distribute what it takes in.
A minimum of eight $750 scholarships are awarded each year to students from Warren County high schools. In 2023, there were 14 awarded for a total of $10,500 in scholarships.
In addition, each of the participating schools is paid to play in the game. On average, Newton said, that annual cost is more than $12,000 combined for the four teams. The Red Carpet Bowl also pays for other expenses like game officials and feeding all four teams.
Ticket sales and sponsorships are the Red Carpet Bowl’s biggest sources of revenue.
“This revenue that we get helps to offset the scholarships and operating costs,” Newton said. “We aren’t sitting on a pile of money.”