AUGUSTA  — Basketball fans once again will be able to watch most tournament games this season, albeit for a fee in some cases.

The National Federation of High Schools Sports Associations Network will stream the regional quarterfinals — save for Class AA — and the Northeast Sports Network will again air regional semifinals and finals for a fourth straight season.

Maine Public Television will broadcast all five state finals on its two channels, MPT and PBS Kids.

“We are happy to be back,” NSN President Eric Berry said. “We signed a three-year deal with the (Maine Principals’ Association) and this is the final year of it. It’s been a good thing and we enjoy doing it.”

The NFHS Network charges subscribers $9.95 per month. There is no fee to watch the games on NSN, which formed in 2006 and is based in Lyndonville, Vermont.

Berry said it can cost several thousand dollars to broadcast 60 tournament games each season, and that he is still seeking sponsors to help offset costs. NSN doesn’t charge a subscriber fee, relying instead on advertising dollars.

“There are a lot of costs involved,” he said. “We will have a crew of six people at each venue for a week, not to mention the amount of equipment.”

Asked if NSN will seek a new contract with the MPA for next season, Berry said, “We definitely are in a re-assessment pattern for next year. In the same vein, we are very hopeful of being back.

“The venues we work with, the people we work with and the MPA, they have been fantastic. But it’s about the advertising. CM Brown/Big Apple is our big sponsor and the primary reason we can make this happen. We’ve had a few other sponsors come on board, but surprisingly we haven’t had as many come on board as I assumed there would be. It’s puzzling.”

MPA director Dick Durost said it’s uncertain if NSN will return next season.

“We can’t guarantee the relationship will move forward,” he said. “It’s been a good relationship but it will all come down to whether he can afford to put a package together. We’ll certainly listen to what they have to say. There are lot of other entities out there in Maine that can do it just as well. ”

Rob Munzing of Munzing Media Sports said his group would like to be involved in streaming tournament games, should the opportunity arise. Munzing Media streams an abundance of high school and collegiate athletics in the state.

“We’d certainly be interested,” he said. “This state is well covered. There is plenty of talent in Maine to pick this up should it become available.”

Like last season, NSN will turn to local announcers to provide play by play and color commentary.

Rob Kennedy, Don Shields, Bryan Roche, Jarod Richmond, Brandon Terrill and Terry Spear will be working out of Augusta for NSN.

“We like having local people in place to do the games,” Berry said. “Maine-based announcers just know the teams in their region.”

“This really is the showpiece of Maine high school sports,” Kennedy added. “This is the biggest event of the year.”

Kennedy said he helped put the broadcast team schedule together.

“We try to keep things consistent,” he said. “We try to team people up as much as we could. We balance it out pretty well so most guys get six to eight games.”

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