OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills Community College board of trustees got its first look at GoHillsTV, the new internet service that will not only broadcast home and away athletic events, but also tell the message of the college through experiences and highlights of various fields of study.
The college finalized its agreement with GoPitch, a subsidiary of Centerville-based Iowa Media Network LLC, on a one-year, $100,000 deal that began Aug. 1. The yearly contract, which will end July 31, 2021, could be renewed on May 1 of next year.
The venture is not taxpayer-funded; rather, the college and the network will collaborate on the sale of advertisements and sponsorships as the school disclosed its list of sponsors and advertisers to GoPitchTV.
There also could be additional revenue if there is a paywall on an app that GoHillsTV must produce under the contract. The contract stipulates the decision on whether to charge subscriptions will be made between the Iowa Media Network and the college.
“We put out a request for proposal in June with a long list of things that we wanted the broadcast partner to do for us,” college president Marlene Sprouse said during Monday’s board meeting. “We wanted them to do stories of things that are going on on all of our campuses, and to do a few marketing pieces.
“GoPitch has branded this as GoHillsTV, and they intend to be on campus one way or another every single day.”
Sprouse played a short video clip of IMN chief operating officer Russ Ocker interviewing herself and athletic director Brett Monaghan. IMN will have one staff member on campus every day 100 percent of the time, and another member 70 percent of the time, according to the contract. A third individual, Ocker, will be the broadcast voice.
“We’re paying for pieces of it, and then they and the college together are recruiting sponsorships and selling advertising so it’s a combined effort,” Sprouse said.
GoHillsTV will also include the following services:
• A website within 30 days of the beginning of the contract, and a web app within three months.
• Coverage of all home and away basketball games and 45 additional home athletic events at the discretion of Monaghan.
• Coverage of 10 college-related non-athletic events, as designated by the marketing director.
• A weekly “What’s Happening at Hills” show.
“I’m really excited about it and for the communities we serve,” Sprouse said. “It kicks everything up a notch as far as outreach and it’ll be high-quality so that people can watch and communicate with us, and vice versa. It’ll showcase everything Indian Hills.”
Executive Vice President Matt Thompson, who will take over for Sprouse as president next month, also expressed his optimism with the service.
“This will be perfect,” he said. “With them being on campus on a daily basis, we’ll be able to share a lot, and it’ll provide access for 19 school districts. If a student is in a guidance counselor’s office and they want to say, ‘Hey, there’s a diesel technology program,’ or ‘What’s it like to be a commercial truck driver?’ We’ll be able to showcase pieces GoHills puts together for us, so we’re excited about that.
“Without a lot of sports going on in the fall, I think we’ll be able to get a jump on that to where it’ll be beneficial to us in the future.”
“We want clips of all of our programs,” Sprouse added.
Once the technology is in place, people will be able to access GoHillsTV through its Facebook page, said Bianca Myers, director of marketing and community relations. She also said there will be an app to download. Events will be available on-demand on the website.
“I’m really excited about the option to be able to do these in-house,” Myers said. “This will be a really good use of this partnership and we’ll get a lot of really good material to share with our high schools.”
In other business:
• Chief Financial Officer Michael Lee gave an update on some of the improvements being made at both the Centerville and Ottumwa campuses. The completion of the dining hall in Ottumwa will be done in the next week, but a couple of projects have been delayed because of COVID-19. Lee said the new wrestling building in Centerville will be completed soon, while the multi-purpose building in Centerville is mostly complete, but fitness equipment should arrive by the end of the month.
• Though some athletes have moved onto campus, the bulk of students will move in Aug. 29, with classes beginning two days later.
• Staff Day will be Sept. 3, when Sprouse hands the presidency to Thompson. The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. at the Hellyer Student Life Center, but there will be an option to live stream as well. There won’t be a keynote speaker.