MASSIVE COUP: Grass-roots footy fed to huge audience
RUGBY LEAGUE: It's the rugby league competition that launched some of the game's greats - Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston to name a few - and for the first time our readers are going to get the chance to see top schoolboy action live on a screen in their homes.
The Observer and Queensland School Sport Rugby League have partnered to start livestreaming of the premier schoolboy league competitions in the State - the Allan Langer Cup in the south-east and the Aaron Payne Cup in Central Queensland -- from News Corporation's news websites from Townsville to the Gold Coast.
The first games will be livestreamed on this site on Tuesday night in the Langer Cup when Wavell SHS play Keebra Park SHS (Wavell, 6pm), Marsden SHS host St Mary's (Marsden, 6pm) and Ipswich SHS play Palm Beach Currumbin (North Ipswich, 5.30pm).
The first games will be livestreamed on Tuesday in the Aaron Payne Cup when Mackay State High School take on Kirwan State High School (Kirwan, 2pm), St Patrick's College Mackay play Ignatius Park College (Ignatius, Townsville, 12pm) and Rockhampton Grammar School take on The Cathedral College (Browne Park, Rockhampton, 6.30).
Queensland Schools league boss Andrew Peach said the deal would take Queensland schoolboy league into the homes of the more than 120,000 digital subscribers that News' titles have in the State.
''This is growing the game in a way that wouldn't have been possible even a few years ago,'' he said.
The deal allows schools to recoup the cost of professional filming of games, and he encouraged school league followers to support this paper's subscription model.
Bryce Johns, News' Executive Editor Digital, said the concept was an exciting and innovative way to showcase grassroots sport and increase the value of a digital subscription to this newspaper and website.
''Games will run on at least seven of our websites across Queensland,'' Mr Johns said. ''Some of the top publishers in Europe have moved to start including local sports streaming with their digital news packages, and this is a great trial for our readers.
''And it is allowing us to back local schools by putting money into the technology behind the coverage of games.''
The announcement makes it a big week for the competition's players, some of whom got to meet their State of Origin heroes in Brisbane yesterday.
Marsden SHS player Konrad Tu'ua said the livestreaming would showcase local talent to the Logan community.
"It is good we can project ourselves into the wider community and show how we like to play the game,'' Tu'ua said.
"Some other schools do not get the chance to have games livestreamed so it is a good experience and makes you feel semi-professional.''
George Lee said the livestreaming would showcase the "hidden talent'' in the competition, while St Mary's player Samuel Elara said it was an honour for St Mary's to be involved in the livestreaming.
Those who do not have a subscription will be able to watch for as little as $3.50 a week under the Hot Offer deal currently available.
The games will be near the top of the home page of this site on Tuesday just ahead of kick-off time.