Still More Indians TV Rights Fodder

We haven’t yet mentioned Roger Brown’s latest stab at nailing down the Cleveland Indians’ TV rights story, which appeared in his Friday column.

Roger now cites “growing buzz” that Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3 is now leading the race to nab those rights…eiither that, or Roger’s ear is too close to his electric razor. It’s been reported that incumbent rightsholder Fox Sports Net Ohio may even be out of the chase for the televised Tribe, but…

If WKYC/3 is the victor in this battle, they will likely not run anywhere NEAR the full 155 game slate that FSN Ohio has run in the past. They’re a broadcast network affiliate, of course, and the presence of the NBC schedule would likely rule out nearly ANY prime-time games on Channel 3 short of important games near the end of the season…if the team’s once again in a playoff race.

So, if WKYC gets the Indians rights, where do the bulk of the team’s TV games go? They could very well be back on FSN Ohio, in a deal by WKYC to sell secondary (cable) rights to that network. They could go to ONN, which seems hungry to add the Indians to their statewide cable schedule. (And poor Mr. Brown…after one time correctly noting ONN as “statewide”, he’s back to “the state cable network” again. Oh, well. We tried.) Or they could land on BOTH cable outlets.

That’d leave perhaps a 20 game schedule on WKYC/3, mostly in weekend afternoons, with 130 or so games moved off to cable. OMW notes that if this were a couple of years ago, WKYC/3 could have run a number of games on then-co-operated WVPX/23, the local PAX/i affiliate.

We’re also remembering our earlier speculation that the close relationship between Gannett/WKYC and Time Warner Cable of Northeast Ohio could land more programming on TWC’s position 23 besides the Akron/Canton evening newscasts which used to run on the aforementioned “PAX 23”. Hmmm. It may be a year or so too early to do it this year, because TWC will just start taking over Adelphia and Comcast’s local operations by the time the first pitch is thrown, but…hmmm. Next year?

Oh, a tip of the hat to our good friend Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch, who let us know just WHY ONN looks so bad on Adelphia cable channel 70. Scott tells us that cable channel 70 is (frequency-wise) equivalent to UHF channel 19, so it gets interference locally from the strong over-air signal from WOIO/19. It also explains why African-American oriented cable network “TV One” on Adelphia 74 looks just as bad – “ingress”, as it’s called, from WVPX/23.

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