UPDATE 3:40 PM 8/1/06: The Plain Dealer reports that the Browns have reached a financial settlement to end their relationship with WOIO, and have opened negotiations with channels 3, 5 and 8. An announcement could come as soon as Thursday on a new Browns TV outlet.
A copy of the joint press release announcing the end of the WOIO/Browns contract is here...
Just over the transom via the Cleveland Plain Dealer's weblog:
A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court judge has sided with the NFL Cleveland Browns in a lawsuit filed by Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19.
The rejection of WOIO's request to block the Browns from ending their contract with Channel 19 means that the team is likely to find a new local TV partner "with lightning speed", says team attorney Robert Duvin.
The decision and that wording means that a new local TV outlet will carry the Browns pre-season games and other team programming, even this year...as Duvin says such an announcement could come "within days".
Judge Timothy McMonagle said WOIO's request to block the Browns contract breaking move "wasn't warranted", though other issues regarding WOIO's request for damages remain on the legal table.
It will likely be a moot point, though. Duvin says the team should reach a financial settlement with WOIO soon, and says the team will seek a "rational" settlement and not "prolong the agony" now that they're able to find a new TV outlet...