Monday, August 14, 2006

Roger's Monday Media Column

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 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...


Anonymous said...

Speaking of pre-empting sports. On Saturday WBCB (Youngstown's WB soon to be CW) was allowed to air CBS PGA Golf thar WKBN was unable to air due to a steelers preseason game. I asked the cheif enginner from WFMJ/WBCB what was going on over on the AVS fourm and he said that CBS had offered them the program in part because they were the CW affiliate. Could this be a sign of things to come with the new CW and CBS allowing the other network to air pre-empted programs? Should the folks at WOIO be scared about losing programs? Here is the link to what the engineer from ch 21 said:

Ohio Media Watch said...

I wouldn't read TOO much into it.

Networks are allowed, generally, to shop around pre-empted shows. As noted on that link, the WB outlet in Salt Lake City has been airing NBC's Saturday Night Live for years...since NBC affiliate KSL/5 has passed on it.

The new CW's relationship with CBS may prompt them to go ahead and offer up such pre-emptions to CW stations first, but I wouldn't read more into it than that.

Apparently, as far as Sunday goes on WKYC, either NBC didn't pursue it, or such moves are not allowed under the NASCAR contract. The station did air some of the race.


Anonymous said...

Question. Has the total television revenue the Cavs will receive doubled from what from FSO and WUAB 43 paid, or is it just what twice what FSO paid by itself? It's an important distinction - FSO will be showing twice as many games in the new deal, and it would be logical to expect them to pay at least twice what they are paying now.

Anonymous said...

It seems odd that WKYC could not of allowed someone else in town the rights to air the race. It has been proven that someone else can air pre-empted programs from a different network, so why not WKYC? Speaking of the Indians game, it seems that WNGS and RTN streams ch 67 over the internet complete with sports programming from the Bills, Mets, Yankees, and the Indians. How is this possible? I thought that MLB does not allow this? If that is the case, could it be that equity broadcasting is breaking the contract with the rights holders of the Bills, Mets, Yankees, and the Indians? Here is the link to the feed (it only works 30% of the time):

Neil said...

Have you actually seen the WNGS sports events on the RTN site?

I get the impression from a quick visit to the site that RTN only streams its own shows, but provides links to full listings for its broadcast affiliates.

Ohio Media Watch said...

The site appears to be a stream for the entire RTN network, and not specifically for WNGS.


Anonymous said...

Actually its is the same WGNS OTA feed. They went from a live METS game to the INDIANS game on a tape delay other times the tribe airs live. If the feed is up during a game I would suggest you watch it is interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what's the deal with people going nuts over not being able to see CARS GOING IN A CIRCLE? Has our society degressed to such a point that we actually call NASCAR "entertainment?" Yikes. Vrroom, vroooooom...guess the 'necks never got over their fixation of playing with cars as children.

Marty said...

WKYC could've made alternate plans. They goofed and paid no attention to NBC's schedule. NBC's NASCAR schedule was set last year! There is no excuse for WKYC to run the Tribe over NASCAR and claiming they did not know when the race would be scheduled. That is a ridiculous excuse and false.

It should also be noted, WKYC DID change several Indians telecast dates after the year began. Just compare the handheld Indians schedule to the current televison schedule. They had all year to make alternate plans.

I emailed WKYC back when the Tribe TV schedule was announced, mentioning all of the NBC Sports conflicts and asking if they had alternate plans for NASCAR, NHL, etc. I never got a response.

WKYC dropped the ball and they will not admit it. It's as simple as that.

marty said...

Obviously, anonymous hasn't checked out NASCAR's ratings including here in Cleveland. Whether you like it or not, NASCAR has huge ratings ranking above every sport except for the NFL and yes, that includes Cleveland.

Do you think WKYC would dare pre-empt a Notre Dame football game? The fact is NASCAR is more successful than any sport on NBC currently (not counting the Olympics or the new SNF) and WKYC goofed.

I have no idea what the ratings have been for Tribe games on WKYC but I'm betting NASCAR's are just as high if not higher.

Anonymous said...

People watvh NASCAR to see when and if they have a crash.

Anonymous said...

Assuming it would be legal, moving NASCAR could have been as easy as shifting it to SportsTime Ohio.

Even if it would have to stay on broadcast, WBNX or WUAB would be more than happy to take it, if it's NBC pursuing it.

Apparently, though, nothing but the shaft.

Anonymous said...

How anyone can find cars going around in a circle as entertaining is beyond me. I agree with the post that says people watch NASCAR for the crashes