By Matthew Martin/Sports Correspondent
Local television station TV24 has some big news for football fans this fall – especially for followers of Jacksonville State University.
The station will be broadcasting seven of the Gamecocks’ home games this season.
TV24 will air those games live, beginning with Saturday’s season opener in Montgomery against Alabama State.
The other six broadcasts will be each of JSU’s home games.
“This year, we are doing something a little different,” TV24 news anchor Carl Brady said. “We have a full schedule of college football games that we are going to be airing, and that starts with our relationship with Jacksonville State.
“We’ve always aired a couple of Jacksonville State games during the season, anyway. This year, we are actually airing seven JSU games and we are airing those games live, for the first time.”
The contract to air JSU home games is natural for the station, which once leased studio time from Jacksonville State, broadcasting news and other programming from the school’s campus. That relationship changed a year ago, when the station moved into its new studio in Oxford.
“The new studio is awesome,” Brady said. “Next week, we will actually celebrate a year of being in our new facility in Oxford, with all the new equipment and all the new stuff. It’s great to have a new home that’s up-to-date.”
While TV24 no longer broadcasts from a studio at JSU, the station will always have a close relationship with the school.
“We are always proud to be able to work with JSU,” Brady said. “We’ve worked very closely with JSU from Day 1 of TV24’s existence. To be able to expand our relationship with them is incredible. It gives us great programming.
“And it’s not just football. We do baseball games; we do basketball games; we do volleyball, at times; we do all of the JSU graduations. We have a very extensive relationship with JSU and are very proud of that.
“It’s a natural fit, for us, being here covering the same community that JSU is a part of. It’s a great university, a great athletic program and it’s a natural fit.
“We get a lot of students who intern with us from their communications program who work for us. We hire a lot of (JSU) students who work in our studios and our facilities. So having a tight relationship with Jacksonville State, and really works well for all of us. They get tons of publicity for their school and we have access to great programming and great students.”
The station has had a strong football presence in East and Northeast Alabama, broadcasting its high school scoreboard show, as well as Oxford High School games. But beginning this season, TV24 will not just air live JSU games along with the other local football programming.
The station will also broadcast a full schedule – 12 games, total – of Gulf South Conference football games. Like the JSU contests, each of the Gulf South games, except two airings, will be live.