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WPIAL confident football championships will be televised again this fall

September 19, 2018

Thomas Jefferson's Noah Palmer (7) hoists the championship trophy with his teammates after defeating Montour, 27-0, in the WPIAL Class 4A final Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Heinz Field.

The WPIAL’s broadcast contract with AT&T SportsNet has expired, but WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said he’s confident the football championships will be shown somewhere this fall.

“If there was a perception placed out there that they’re not being televised, that’s not accurate,” O’Malley said. “What is accurate is they’re not renewing their contract.”

The WPIAL is exploring all options for the November football finals, O’Malley said. There remains a chance the games could return to AT&T SportsNet, he added.

The broadcast contract stipulates the amount a media outlet pays each year in rights fees to televise the games. The WPIAL board of directors has long believed that televising the games could limit attendance, so the rights fees help compensate for that perceived loss in ticket sales.

The WPIAL football championships have been televised for nearly three decades.

“It’s important for people to know we’re making every effort to make sure the games are going to be on live TV,” O’Malley said. “How that occurs remains to be seen, but we have people working together.”

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