My Network TV Slowly Expands in Ohio

With The WB and UPN going away in September, new merged network The CW – and new competitor My Network TV – are slowly building their nationwide affiliate lists.

But unlike The CW, the network owned by UPN parent CBS and WB parent Time Warner, FOX’s My Network TV is ramping up rather slowly in Ohio. There’s now officially a CW affiliate in every Ohio market short of Zanesville, a puny mini-market which will likely see its WB100 cable channel flip to CW+ without much fanfare.

My Network TV has only managed to sign up affiliates in Cleveland (WUAB/43 UPN) and Cincinnati (WSTR/64 WB), until today. The MNTV folks have announced a clearance in Lima, where Greg Phipps’ WOHL-CA 25 “FOX 25” is now listed as the network’s new affiliate.

We’ll assume that’s a mistake, and that the MNTV affiliation is instead headed for Phipps’ WLQP-LP 18 “UPN 18″…which would seem much more likely to us than a delayed clearance on FOX 25. MNTV probably listed WOHL’s call letters due to parent FOX’s main network airing there. (The CW will air in Lima on a newly-minted subchannel of NBC affiliate WLIO/35.)

My Network TV still has to announce affiliates in Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

It’ll likely be stuck with a delayed clearance or a new DT subchannel in Columbus, with LIN TV’s WWHO/53 “UPN 53” landing as a CW primary affiliate recently.

WWHO has carried WB programming out of pattern, so it’d only make sense that they could do the same with MNTV if the network has no other choice in the market. And LIN TV has an existing relationship with the My folks…affiliating some of its stations with MNTV before going with the CW in markets like Columbus.

Dayton may be a little easier, as we’re surprised My Network TV hasn’t inked a deal with WHIO-TV’s sister station, cable/digital-only “UPN 17”. (CW goes to WB’s WBDT/26.)

Toledo is a little more interesting. With the current cable/digital/satellite-only WB affiliate (“WT05 – Toledo’s WB”) going to CW, the My folks may be without a broadcast option with the questionable status of UPN affiliate WNGT-LP 48 – in bankruptcy receivership and likely to be picked up by the Cornerstone Church.

And we wouldn’t be surprised at all if there is no new My Network TV option in Youngstown. The market never had a UPN affiliate, with Cleveland powerhouse WUAB/43 filling that role with extensive cable coverage…and WUAB will likely act as Youngstown’s imported My Network TV affiliate as well.

My Network TV doesn’t have a generic cable feed like WB/CW, so it’d be status quo unless perhaps WKBN/27’s sister FOX affiliate WYFX/62 “FOX 17/62” carries the network out of pattern at 11 PM. Or, if ABC affiliate WYTV/33 somehow mounts a new digital subchannel to run MNTV. We don’t consider that very likely…

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