February 19, 2018
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WABI-TV, WPXT-TV, WPME-TV to continue to air state football championship games

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — WABI-TV in Bangor and WPXT-TV and WPME-TV in Westbrook will continue to to televise the state high school football championship games live and, because a fourth state title game is being added this season, they will receive a little help from the Bangor-based New England School of Communications.

The new agreement between the stations and the Maine Principals Association will continue through 2016.

There was a continuing agreement in place for this season but it was for just three classes. The MPA has added Class D to join A, B and C beginning this fall.

Three state championship games will be held at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game times will be 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. But the Class B game will be played at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium in Orono. All four games will be carried on WABI-TV and the three Saturday games will also be shown on WPXT. WPXT’s sister station, WPME, will join WABI in televising the Friday night game.

Steve Hiltz, the program director at WABI-TV, explained that because they have to send their production truck to Portland on Friday night to prepare for Saturday’s games, they needed a second production truck to broadcast the Class B game from Orono, so they’ve rented the NESCOM truck. NESCOM will also supply some support staff in the truck with WABI providing the camera crew and on-air talent.

Hiltz said he is pleased with the arrangement between the MPA and the three stations.

“We feel real good about it,” said Hiltz. “We have been working with the MPA for a long time. We had a pretty good conversation with them and we came to agreeable terms.”

Hiltz said they paid a rights fee to the MPA but wouldn’t divulge the terms of the contract.

The TV stations sell advertising to make money off the venture and Hiltz said “we’ve always done very well with this. With the extra game, there’s extra cost but we hope to do just as well.”

News anchor Jon Small, early-morning anchor and reporter Wayne Harvey, sports director and anchor Tim Throckmorton and sports reporter and anchor Nick Coit will share the broadcasting duties and sideline reporting.

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