Georgia Public Broadcasting's decision late Wednesday not to broadcast tonight's state semifinal football game between Colquitt County and Grayson angered many Packer fans and sent local cable operators scrambling to find a way to get the game to its subscribers.
CNS, the City of Moutrie's cable system, announced Thursday afternoon that it would be able to show the game on its cable Channel 12. Mediacom, the other cable provider in Moultrie, will carry the game on its Channel 96.
Subscribers to those two cable systems who tune in to Georgia Public Broadcasting’s normal cable channel will find a pledge drive, but also will see a notice directing fans to the channel carrying the game.
Fans who don't have cable will only be able to access the game if they have a digital television or a digital antenna. They should tune to 14.3.
"We will be carrying the (Colquitt County) Packers versus Grayson Rams game on WABW GPTV CNS Channel 12 tomorrow night," Austin Reams of CNS said in an email received by The Moultrie Observer on Thursday afternoon. "We have received permission from GPB to retune our equipment for reception of this game instead of standard GPB programming."
Mediacom received similar permission to show the game. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
CNS and the Downtown Moultrie Association have teamed up to show the game on a 16-foot screen at the Lewis Hill Amphitheatre on Courthouse Square beginning at 7 p.m.
Main Street Director Amy Johnson encouraged Packer fans to bring lawn chairs, dinner or snacks and head to the Square.
"We realize not everyone can travel to Atlanta," said Downtown Moultrie Association president Bill Harrison. "It will be a great opportunity for fans to gather in one place and watch the game."
Mediacom's Sally Bloom said viewers could begin testing the signal on Channel 96 about 5 p.m.
Colquitt County High principal Bob Jones said he was told by GPB officials that they originally thought they would be able to broadcast despite the annual fund drive that seeks donations to support its programming.
Later, officials learned that the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) would not allow them to override the fund-raising effort.
After learning that it could not broadcast the game live on its PBS channels, officials offered to show the game on tape-delay at 11 p.m.
But after hearing from upset fans, CNS and Mediacom sought ways to show the game on other channels and by mid-afternoon on Thursday were successful.
Those choosing to watch at ghsa.tv will receive the audio of the WMTM Cruisin94 radio broadcast featuring Durwood Dominy, Darrell Strange and Jim Turner.
WMTM also will have its broadcast on its web site at www.cruisin94.com.