If it's Monday, it must be time to check in with Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist Roger Brown's regular Monday Media Column...
NASCAR IRE: Roger's getting some of the same feedback we've gotten in the past day or so... from angry NASCAR fans upset with local NBC affiliate WKYC/3 for pre-empting much of the race for a meaningless Cleveland Indians game.
WKYC programming director Terry Moir tells The Artful Roger that the team had scheduled the Indians contest "well before" NBC decided on scheduling for the race.
Moir says the station tried to get permission to run the race on delay after the Indians contest, but that NASCAR's contract with NBC prevents them from doing so.
She tells Brown that not being able to air the Watkins Glen race was "unfortunate, but we did join it as quickly as we could after the Indians game."
Several readers suggested that due to the importance of the race, and unimportance of the game, that WKYC should have shifted the Indians back to SportsTime Ohio on Sunday.
It just doesn't work that way for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that WKYC sold advertising for that game (or game packages) long ago.
Even if the contest is not exactly a drive to see who gets into the playoffs, the station still makes money off of local advertising, and the Indians' TV numbers are still healthy enough to keep the game on WKYC...and the key here is that the station makes a lot more money by filling the local advertising slots on the Indians game, vs. filling the limited number of spots on the network-generated NASCAR telecast.
MONEY, MONEY: Mr. Brown also reports that "word is" the new FOX Sports Net Ohio deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers is in the $25 million arena, or roughly double of what the cable network paid the last time around.
This time, it looks like FSN is paying for exclusive rights, with WUAB/43 on the outs as a shared broadcaster after the current contract expires in 2007-2008.
Roger credits the presence of competing network SportsTime Ohio for driving up the cost of those Cavs rights. But you can also credit the end of FSN Ohio's Indians coverage...as the network is spending much more money than it ever did, since it LOST one of its two major rights pieces to STO...
STO ONE OUT, ONE IN: While we're in STO land, Brown also notes that the sports network apparently does NOT have rights to run the hour-long Ohio State Buckeyes football replay show.
But Roger does let us know of plans for a new sports talk show on STO in October, featuring PD Cavs beat reporter Branson Wright and someone from the new website "Cleveland Current". (That's the same site now running some of former rock radio programmer John Gorman's radio musings.)
The item leads us to wonder once again - wither sports talker Les Levine's daily cable TV talk show?
"More Sports and Les Levine" is still running on the systems formerly owned by Adelphia, which are now under control of Time Warner. Same systems, same time slot (6 PM live, 11 PM recorded), and same channel, 15.
Though all the logos and graphics have changed from Adelphia to Time Warner, OMW has no indication - yet - that Levine's show will make the migration to the greater Time Warner subscriber base.
His participation on FSN Ohio/WKNR's "Cleveland Rants" may or may not affect the future of the ex-Adelphia show...but we suppose the fact it continues is a good sign for fans of it. Though even Levine hasn't gotten around to changing all the Adelphia references on his own website...
SPORTING FOX: Roger also says WKNR/850 program director Michael Luczak should decide "by month's end" whether the Salem sports talk station will carry Sporting News Radio or FOX Sports Radio in non-local hours.
WKNR loses ESPN Radio in about two months...apparently to Craig Karmazin's Good Karma Broadcasting, which is buying WABQ/1540...