Danville and Southern Columbia high school football fans will be able to watch this weekend's games on local broadcasting outlets this week.
Last week, an exclusive deal between the PIAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations NFHS Network, a subscription-based high school sports network, to broadcast state football playoff games prohibited Service Electric Cablevision, or SECV8 based in Danville, and FOX56, out of Wilkes-Barre, and Stone State Entertainment from broadcasting games.
"Some games (the NFHS Network) do not cover at all and some games they use a pixellot system (un-manned camera that shows the game) and they are being flexible to allow a TV station or cable company to come in and broadcast as long as they do not video stream it (online)," said PIAA Assistant Executive Director Melissa Mertz on Tuesday. "So no change in the rights, it's just different set up for different games."
The network is a subscriber-based service that costs $10.99 a month or $69.99 a year to access all events on the network. Danville Area School District has been part of the network since last year and all of the district’s events played in its stadium, including football, have been available for all subscribers since last fall.
Mertz said the PIAA has been contracted with the NFHS Network since July 2013. This year, the PIAA added the state playoffs into the deal.
Mertz said NFHS Network decides which games they want to broadcast.
Chris O’Rourke, video production specialist for SECV8, said he was made aware on Tuesday the local cable channel will be able to make the trip to Wyomissing and broadcast the game this weekend.
"We are thrilled we were able to come to this arrangement with the PIAA and NFHS," he said.
The Ironmen's game against the Spartans will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner advances to next week's state final against either Central Valley or Bedford.
Stone State Entertainment owner Chad Evans, of Shamokin, also gained permission to broadcast Southern Columbia's game against Bishop McDevitt for the Valley on the company's YouTube channel. The game will be played at Selinsgrove, also at 1 p.m.
"We are thrilled to be able to be a part of the party at these games," he said. "We want to provide the games for people who can't attend. That's all we ever wanted."