We're rapidly approaching the first drawing in the New TV Network Sweepstakes.
On September 5th, MyNetworkTV will premiere nationwide, including locally on the newly-dubbed "My43" - aka Raycom Media's current UPN affiliate WUAB/43.
On September 18th, the CW Network will launch...with original programming showing up a couple of days later.
There's a squeeze there.
UPN programming will not air on WUAB/43 and other UPN affiliates moving to MyNetworkTV starting on September 5th, unless the stations manage to delay it out of prime-time.
And though most of the UPN shows are long into repeats, some of which will air again on The CW the week it starts, there is the matter of "WWE Smackdown".
That wrestling show will be live throughout September, and we still haven't heard how WUAB and other UPN-to-My affiliates will handle the weeks between the My launch, and the CW premiere of Smackdown on Friday, September 22nd.
At least some stations are trying to handle this.
Six incoming CW affiliates owned by network partner Tribune Broadcasting are airing the show a few weeks early...the first three weeks of September after UPN's affiliation goes away on competing stations moving to MyNetworkTV.
As far as local marketing of the new networks are concerned, OMW reported that WUAB adopted the "My43" on-air name a while ago. And while new CW affiliate WBNX/55 has not yet changed from calling itself "Cleveland's WB" on-air, we have seen frequent CW promos on the local station.
We don't yet know if WBNX will bring "Smackdown" aboard early, or if WUAB will find a place for it outside of prime-time starting the first full week of September. We'd tend to think the incoming affiliate would be a better choice, with the show going off WUAB's airwaves entirely for the future...