Editor’s Note: Live streaming of events by Pio TV has been discontinued since the writing of this article.
The light beats down upon them as sweat rolls down their bodies. The fans are cheering and a ball flies through the air. The clock is ticking and the pressure is on, but that pressure is felt by more than just the ones playing. Over 1000 feet away there’s an entire crew working to broadcast this game.
Many people are unable to be in the stands at local sporting events for a variety of reasons, but fortunately it doesn’t prevent them from watching. The Pioneer Digital Media club, or PDM, started live streaming the school’s major sports back in 2019.
Back then, very few people watched via livestream. However, things are changing. Through both an increase in membership in the club, and the still very active pandemic, viewership has risen immensely. The three or four views of previous years has increased, on a good day, to be over 20 times that. The recent varsity football game between Barlow and Sandy had a total viewership of 459 viewers.
Being back in the building has helped bring in new members and the live stream quality and frequency is increasing.
“I hope to make the games more accessible for the people who aren’t able to spectate live, whether that be people from other schools, parents, or people who can’t get here,” said club co-president senior Spencer Jones. He has been a member of the club since creation and joined because he couldn’t “wait to further my skills.”
Many PDM members joined to learn more about what they love, but many also joined to bring their content to a greater audience.
“It’s a way to get involved in sports in a way that I enjoy,” junior Khana Gaoteote, a returning member, said.
The live streams are, of course, a way for families to see games but they’re also much more. For the members of the club, they are a way of learning, socializing, and contributing in an impactful way to these events.
Newly elected Pio TV producer Lucy Gilchrist says that she enjoys it because she can “go to all the games and watch sports,” but she also gets to be “a lot more involved with the rest of the school.”
The live streams have been and are great for many. For the people who can’t attend they bridge the gap, and for the club members they promote learning.
“I enjoy… helping everyone else figure it out so one day they’ll do it on their own,” PDM producer senior Brooklyn Kelley said.
“My estimate, about 300 extra hours every year,” Club Advisor Andrew Schaffer said, but “it’s worth it for the experience for the students who are involved,” and when it comes to the stress “I live for that, it’s the best.” For the members of the club, that pre-stream stress is felt every game, but for many it’s negligible compared to the feeling of accomplishment. During Covid many weren’t able to attend live games and they helped bridge the gap. The members of the club continue to work diligently to help bring people together and are happy to do so, even if there are long hours and stress involved.