High school football on TV18
When: 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Channel 18
Sept. 3: East Hall vs. Johnson
Sept. 10: Flowery Branch vs. Apalachee
Sept. 17: North Hall vs. Gainesville
Sept. 24: Gainesville vs. Franklin County
Oct. 1: West Hall vs. Walnut Grove
Oct. 8: North Hall vs. White County
Oct. 15: Flowery Branch vs. Heritage
Oct. 22: East Hall vs. Dawson County
Oct. 29: Chestatee vs. Lumpkin County
TV channels are swamped with college and professional football games during the fall months.
But those hoping to keep up with their local high school teams from the comfort of their living room couch often don't have the same options.
This season, local government channel TV18 will air one high school football game each Friday night at 11 p.m. and then again on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Hall County Public Information Officer Nikki Young said the idea for the weekly football coverage started in 2009 after the channel aired the class AAA semifinal game between the Gainesville Red Elephants and the Flowery Branch Falcons.
"We got such a huge response we decided it was something we should do," Young said. "This is a big football community. There is a lot of support for it."
TV18, which is funded jointly by Gainesville and Hall County, is known as a PEG channel - public, educational and governmental access channel.
There are no advertisements on the channel and all content
has to be government or education related. TV18 airs meetings of the Gainesville City Council and Hall County Board of Commissioners as well as feature segments about the area.
Young hosts a show called "Hall County Connection," and Gainesville Public Information Officer Catiel Felts has her own show called "Eye on Gainesville."
"Our ultimate goal is to educate people about county and city governments," Young said. "We need to draw people into the channel. This is going to be a big draw."
Young said the football programming will come at no additional cost to taxpayers.
"We're doing it with existing staff and resources and with the help of interns and volunteers," Young said.
The channel will cover one game each week during the regular season.
"We're making sure we get every Hall County and Gainesville school included at least once," Young said.
Gainesville High School's Football Coach Wayne Vickery said the football broadcasts are a good option for local fans.
"I think it's great for our kids and it's great for our community," Vickery said. "Even a lot of the people who go to the games like to see it. They just enjoy seeing their child out on that field."