By I.J. Rosenberg
GPB Sports is taking a major step forward this year in its approach to televising the GHSA State Football Championships. The sports network that has broadcasted 19 live high school football games this season into more than one million households and 14 additional games on the web that have been seen by 145,000 unique visitors on the web has partnered with Turner Sports Productions to produce the two-day event which will be televised live on Georgia Public Broadcasting and video streamed live on GPB.org/football.
Beginning Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m., GPB Sports will stay live at the Georgia Dome until the last championship trophy has been presented. The coverage will also include shows from the Dome between games and live championship trophy presentations. The coverage will include the addition of a motorized camera cart on the sidelines, a 20-foot boom camera and a wireless camera to be taken into the crowd at the Dome.
The shows will be anchored by Mark Harmon of GPB Sports Central and will include the entire Sports Central team of Gil Tyree, Niki Noto, Lindsey Thiry, Jon Nelson, Jackie Brittain, Trey McDaniel and former state championship coach Dave Hunter.
A group of high school experts will join the GPB Sports Team, including Tommy Palmer, the host of the Georgia High School Scoreboard Show, former Roswell state championship winner and current Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarland, Score Atlanta’s Bob Houghton and Fletcher Proctor, recruiting expert Chad Simmons as well as college football and Hawks basketball voice Bob Rathbun and WSB-TV’s Zach Klein.
-Friday’s Class AA game between Buford and Calhoun at 4:30: Rathbun, Nelson and McFarland
-Friday’s Class AAAA games between Lovejoy and Tucker at 8: Tyree, McDaniel and Hunter
-Saturday’s Class A game between Savannah Christian and Landmark Christian at 1: Palmer, Houghton and Proctor
-Saturday’s Class AAA game between Peach County and Burke County at 4:30: Klein, Nelson and McFarland
-Saturday’s Class AAAAA game between Grayson and Walton at 8; Tyree, McDaniel and Hunter
Noto and Thiry will handle the sidelines for all games, while Harmon and Brittain will be on the set.
All games will be broadcasted live throughout the state of Georgia and into parts of Florida, Alabama and Tennessee on Georgia Public Broadcasting and webcasted live at GPB.org/sports. GPB has nine television stations across Georgia and is in more than 98 percent of the homes in the state. GPB is the country’s third-largest PBS station in the country based on population reach No. 2-rated public broadcasting station. Two years ago, it was ranked No. 15.
Complete coverage of the championships will be available live and On Demand at GPB.org/sports. Score Atlanta will provide blogging and an interactive live chat during the games on GPB.org/sports. GHSA.tv will also have the games available for On Demand viewing and DVD orders. The games will be rebroadcasted on GPB Knowledge, one of GPB’s digital channels, from Dec. 12-16. Each night will feature a game at 8 p.m., with the Class A game on Monday, Dec. 12, followed by the Class AA game on Tuesday, Class AAA on Wednesday, Class AAAA on Thursday and Class AAAAA on Friday. For more information on finding GPB Knowledge, visit the website at http://www.gpb.org/GPBKnowledge.