Ross Porter admits that when an Orange County-based website inquired about his desire at age 72 to do play-by-play for video-streaming high school football and basketball games, the explanation of it “was so far over my head . . . but I know it’s the wave of the future.”
With a background that includes a 28-year-run calling games for the Dodgers, and 10 years at KNBC-Channel 4 where he did a live high school game of the week series (sometimes with Sandy Koufax as his colorman), Porter has gotten his head around a new gig with iBN Sports, an online broadcast network and video on-demand service in Lake Forest that has been one of the rising companies in the business.
Starting Sept. 2, Porter will do a prep football game of the week for iBN, most likely one that involves a team from the San Fernando Valley near his longtime home in Calabasas. The company will also have him hosting some of its regular series, and expand his popular “Real Sports Heroes” series that he began in 2007 from a one-minute radio segment to a three-minute video show.
“I’m really excited about this new venture,” said Porter, whose newest media rep in the business includes Toi Cook, the former NFL defensive back out of Montclair Prep in Van Nuys. “I’ve been blessed with a remarkable career, and this is exciting to call high school and some college football and basketball games in a truly unique format.
“It took about two months to get here, but we finally put something together that gets me back to work.”
John Mudge, the iBN Sports CEO with a company that does up to 1,000 high school games a year across the country, as well as some mixed-martial arts fight cards and minor-league baseball games, says hiring Porter “is very special for us. We’ve been listening to Ross Porter for many years.”
The iBN high school football games are selected after Fox Sports West and Time Warner choose games for their sites. L.A.-based Vootage.com, one of the first websites to do local high school games starting in 2005, is “on hiatus,” according to site co-creator Jeff Proctor.