COLUMBIA -- South Carolina ETV’s coverage of the solar eclipse is going to be carried live as a nationwide broadcast. Over 65 percent of public television’s world channels have already committed to carry the one-hour telecast live August 21 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. as the eclipse passes above the state before moving over the Atlantic Ocean. A live stream will also be available nationwide.
Using locations from around the state, including live footage from the South Carolina State Museum’s telescope, Charleston, the Columbia Fireflies stadium, and the South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson, the SCETV coverage will also be used that evening in a national PBS program recapping the day’s events.
Locally, the station expects its SC Public Radio “narration” from experts to be the most popular during the live event as people tune in from cars and boats. SC Public Radio will stream the coverage from the SCETV app, though the station recommends radio as the best bet, since it won’t be affected should cell phone service be overloaded. The station also recommends TV viewing for the very young, who might be tempted to peek outside their glasses.
The TV broadcast, in addition to its live 2:30 p.m. slot, will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. that night prior to the national NOVA special at 9 p.m.
This is the third live national broadcast for SCETV. The first, in 1977, was part of an international program, “Christmas Around the World,” that featured Columbia choirs live from the atrium of Columbia Mall. The second occurred in 1991 when a town hall with Bill Moyers from Columbia's Longstreet Theatre was abruptly altered at the request of PBS and became a live, impromptu national town hall meeting after the sudden launch of Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf earlier in the day.