TownNews and BlueFrame Technology have formed a partnership that will give the more than 2,000 local media websites using TownNews’ digital publishing platforms access to BlueFrame’s live sports and events video streaming services.

The arrangement enables TownNews to supply its client network with live sports and event streaming. In turn, TownNews customers can offer the same services to their local school districts at a significantly reduced cost or free, according to a TownNews news release.

“What will high school sports look like in the fall of 2020? Will in-person events be held at all and, if so, will coronavirus fears keep people at home?” said Rick Rogers, chief revenue officer at TownNews. “These are the questions that are keeping district athletic directors up at night, and there’s a lot riding on the answers.”

As athletic departments grapple with these issues, Kentucky-based BlueFrame’s sponsorship, advertising, and content monetization opportunities extend a new revenue stream, the release says.

There are a number of revenue opportunities that come as a result of the deal, including in-video ad and sponsorship positions, standard local website display advertising spots and access to the TownNews iQ programmatic ad network, says TownNews.

Live streams will be broadcast on the news organization’s TownNews-hosted website, driving significant traffic and enhancing revenue potential for both the media partner and the school districts it covers, says the release.

“If parents, grandparents, students, and alumni are not able to sit in the stands and watch their favorite athletes compete, they’re going to figure out a technological way to watch the games,” Rogers said. “This partnership empowers the news organizations we serve, along with school districts, to provide a solution for their communities, while potentially making up for lost gate revenue.”

Video streams can be sold on a per-game basis, as a season pass, or provided for free, at the discretion of the school district.

“BlueFrame is incredibly excited to partner with TownNews to support local journalism,” said Bent Kant, CEO and co-founder of Lexington, Kentucky-based BlueFrame.

Also from TownNews:

• News Nirvana, a new service from TownNews, identifies news deserts, partners with capable local publishers and editors and provides them with the tools, resources, and consulting to make their new digital news initiatives successful, says a news release from TownNews.

Qualifying news start-ups will be equipped with a website that includes editorial tools, subscription/membership support and site analytics, TownNews says.

Participating sites will have the ability to distribute their content on the TownNews Content Exchange, a network of more than 600 participating publishers nationwide.

According to the University of North Carolina’s usnewsdeserts. com, the U.S. has lost more than 2,100 newspapers since 2004, leaving many communities with no local coverage.

The first site to launch on the new platform will be Link 2 Lee's Summit, covering Lee's Summit, Missouri.