Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Network TV - No, Not MY Network TV

The other shoe has dropped in the UPN/WB sweepstakes.

Fox Broadcasting has announced a new "network" - or more accurately, programming service - aimed at stations that have been left at the altar in the upcoming retooling of the two smaller broadcast networks into "The CW".

The new service will be known as "My Network TV". A News Corporation press release says it'll air on all of the company's soon-to-be-former UPN affiliates in the 8-10 PM ET/PT time slot, and they're making pitches for other stations that not only won't be going with the CW Network programming...but to stations looking to avoid paying compensation for the CW offerings, or other otherwise independent outlets.

Among the offerings - two daily "telenovelas" called "Desire" and "Secrets". If you want an idea of what that'll be about, tune your TV to Univision O&O WQHS/61 Cleveland every weeknight... then mentally translate in your head to English.

Locally, this means that the station that does not affiliate with The CW will likely pick up "My Network TV". The sweepstakes involves Raycom's WUAB/43 (now UPN) and Winston Broadcasting's WBNX/55 (now WB).

The programming "My Network TV" promises to feature lots of young, good looking actors in steamy situations...which makes us wonder if WBNX would even be interested. It's been jarring enough to watch WB dramas about witches leading into televangelist/WBNX owner Rev. Ernest Angley's "90 and 9 Club" talk show weeknights. Would the Rev. stand for couples getting it on outside of marriage? Hmmm.

At least a half dozen of you are out there, thinking "Hey, Raycom will decline on spending the money, they'll be the My Network TV affiliate, and WBNX will pay for The CW"...well, perhaps. But it still depends on if Raycom works out some sort of a group deal for their current 6-station collection of UPN affiliates...for either new network.


Anonymous said...

What is the chance that ch 55 sells to fox? I mean ch 55 would fit just right with fox and ch 8 and ch 55 worked together when ch 55 rebroadcasted ch 8's 10'oclock news 10 years ago. I am sure if you show Ernie the money he would sell if not fox maybe to ch 3? What is the chance one of the two rimshots ch 68 in Mansfield or ch 52 out of Sandusky being moved into Cleveland and becoming either a independent or univision station? By doing this you free up ch 61 to become a indi and keep univision in NE Ohio since univision wants advertising dollars and a way to get their signal into Canada OTA. BTW come September, Youngstown will be short let another network but for the first time in 50 years actually help launch a new network.

Tim Lones said...

Why would Fox want or need 55 when 8 covers ALL of NE Ohio like a blanket?..52 Sandusky to Cleveland and being an Indy?..Wont happen..68 is established in Mansfield..would see no advantange of joining an already crowded Cleveland TV Landscape. Univision probably doesnt care about Miniscule viewers in Canada. I do think this Fox2 (Might as well call it that) network is a bad idea because it lessens the chance of true independent stations returning in Cleveland and other areas.

Tim Lones

Anonymous said...

Tim, you missed the point. Why would radio operators want two to three to five stations in a market? COVERAGE OF ALL DEMOS.

Anonymous said...

Here is the reason why fox or Ganett would want ch 55
No disrespect Mr Lones but it is called a Duopoly. The fact that woio and wuab are one the most powerful Duopoly's in the country it would only be fitting that fox would want one since they have 2 in New York and LA. For Ernest Angley, he gets more money for his chruch, fox does not have to possibly rely on wuab for the new network, and Fox gets two of the most powerful stations in the market. And if fox goes through with the 2 hour national morning newscast,now ch 8 has a place for either a local news show or placing the national show there. As for WMFD, they could very well sell the stations, take the money and upgrade the 2 low power stations they own in Mansfield and make a nice profit. With the direct tv covrerage, the staion could complete as a niche independent owned by any number of people. Univision needs Cleveland so they can sell advertisers on the idea they have viewers in Cleveland reguardless if that is the case. Remember that without a Cleveland station it is very hard to demand must carry and currently the station from my understanding only has 3 full time employees one of which is the general manager who is based out of Washington DC ans most if not all programming comes off the bird. Please correct me if I am wrong on this. I read your posts on and I really enjoy them( I would post but I donot have POP account). BTW I do agree with your feeling on the new fox 2 is a bad idea but when it comes to WBNX I do have to take a differnt opinion and please forgive me if I have overstepped my bounds.

vjm said...

I don't think that My Network TV will come to Cleveland regardless.

If 43 gets CW, Rev. Angley isn't going to touch MNTV on moral grounds.

If 55 gets CW, (which I belive it will), 43 will probably go indie, show movies in prime time, and be an extra vehicle to promote 19 (which is Raycom's main investment in town).

Anonymous said...

I agree that WBNX will take the prize, The CW. They've consistently beat WUAB in overall ratings for the last few years and have been a better network affiliate than WUAB has been. WUAB pre-empts network programming a whole lot more than WBNX and networks hate that. WBNX has ranked in the top 11 of all WB affiliates according to Broadcasting and Cable, while WUAB ranks #24 among UPN affiliates. If WBNX wants The CW then they'll get it, but it all depends on which new network will court them the best.