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Eight CBS Stations to Ditch CW and Go Independent This Fall


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44 minutes ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

Correlation does not imply causation. Nearly every media company’s stock price has been dragging for the last month. The local TV business in general isn’t doing great right now. While this move definitely makes it easier for CBS to move the network in house in Atlanta and Seattle if it wanted to, I highly doubt that’s happening this fall. The Deadline article would’ve mentioned it, and CBS has affiliation contracts to fulfill.

Not to mention the article’s reference to CBSNS entertaining offering sports on the stations indicates it’s looking to poach some major professional sports teams from Bally Sports and AT&T SportsNet. Half of the affected markets have teams carried by networks owned by either group (Bally in three markets, AT&T in one), meaning Paramount is likely to scout for teams in Tampa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

 

Seattle, Philly, Sacramento and San Francisco are served by Root Sports Northwest and the NBC Sports Philadelphia, California and Bay Area channels, respectively. Though its less likely that WPSG can take the 76ers, Flyers and Phillies, KMAX can take the Kings, and KBCW can take the Giants, As, Sharks and Warriors for now, and the prospects of getting the Mariners and Kraken to be able to move to KSTW are unclear; NBCUniversal doesn’t seem to be getting out of the RSN business just yet and Root Sports’ status is questionable as while minority partner Warner Bros. Discovery is getting out of the RSN business, the Seattle Mariners majority own the network.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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I would love to see the Tigers and Wings back on WKBD like many of the games prior to 2004. If a conflict happens, maybe WKBD could put said games on one of their subchannels. Not surprised about Paramount dropping their CW affiliations as they've been wanting out for awhile now.

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46 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

A little less important thing here is with the 'Columbia' part of the 'Columbia-Warner Network' out of the equation (at least station-wise), do we see a rebrand coming for the network itself like The NX, NexTV, or SookNet (I'm not serious on the last one)?


A rebrand from the CW, IMO, is a matter of when, not if. 

Edited by mightynine
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4 minutes ago, Newsjunkie24 said:

I would love to see the Tigers and Wings back on WKBD like many of the games prior to 2004. If a conflict happens, maybe WKBD could put said games on one of their subchannels. Not surprised about Paramount dropping their CW affiliations as they've been wanting out for awhile now.

 

Most things on those independent stations is junk these days. I would love to go back to them showing live sports.

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20 minutes ago, T.L. Hughes said:

Not to mention the article’s reference to CBSNS entertaining offering sports on the stations indicates it’s looking to poach some major professional sports teams from Bally Sports and AT&T SportsNet. Half of the affected markets have teams carried by networks owned by either group (Bally in three markets, AT&T in one), meaning Paramount is likely to scout for teams in Tampa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

 

Seattle, Philly, Sacramento and San Francisco are served by Root Sports Northwest and the NBC Sports Philadelphia, California and Bay Area channels, respectively. Though its less likely that WPSG can take the 76ers, Flyers and Phillies, KMAX can take the Kings, and KBCW can take the Giants, As, Sharks and Warriors for now, and the prospects of getting the Mariners and Kraken to be able to move to KSTW are unclear; NBCUniversal doesn’t seem to be getting out of the RSN business just yet and Root Sports’ status is questionable as while minority partner Warner Bros. Discovery is getting out of the RSN business, the Seattle Mariners majority own the network.

 Root Sports in Seattle is majority owned by the Mariners. I think the most likely outcome there is the Kraken buying WBD’s share and having a NESN joint ownership situation. 

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1 hour ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

Correlation does not imply causation. Nearly every media company’s stock price has been dragging for the last month. The local TV business in general isn’t doing great right now. While this move definitely makes it easier for CBS to move the network in house in Atlanta and Seattle if it wanted to, I highly doubt that’s happening this fall. The Deadline article would’ve mentioned it, and CBS has affiliation contracts to fulfill.

This is also a situation that is highly in flux. Long term, I just can’t exactly see Paramount operating stand-alone indies in markets like Tampa and Seattle.

 

It IS possible that Paramount conducts an asset swap or two to better align things… say, giving WTOG and WBXI-LD to Tegna, Tegna gives CBS KHOU/KTBU and gives WFAA and KVUE to Cox, while Cox gives CBS KIRO-TV… or some level of horse trading to that effect. Simply selling them feels like a non-starter because taxes, plus Atlanta and Seattle are not easy to find a buyer for.

1 hour ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

EDIT: If those agreements expire in 2024, I suppose things could potentially get interesting. Stay tuned, I guess.

Even if they run out this fall, for the short term, plugging in movies in primetime and reruns of Paramount Network and Paramount+ shows seems like a good enough concept. Supplement it with sports play-by-play, the CBS News Now hybrid and local renditions of KMAX’s Good Day.

 

This can include Atlanta, even if CBS takes the affiliation in-house at channel 69. Nothing stopping them from buying a WTBS-LD and moving the new indie format to 6.1 and 69.2

Edited by Rusty Muck
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In Detroit, I really do think the CW will end up on Channel 20.  I doubt it goes to 38.

 

I also think we are going to see sports OTA again on WKBD 50.

 

Furthermore, I do think we are going to see live newscasts again on Ch 50.

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13 minutes ago, CircleWXYZ said:

In Detroit, I really do think the CW will end up on Channel 20.  I doubt it goes to 38.

 

I also think we are going to see sports OTA again on WKBD 50.

 

Furthermore, I do think we are going to see live newscasts again on Ch 50.

Scripps dumped MNTV clearly to extend WXYZ's news reach and flee from a filler network in MNTV and the station's Granite-era failures post-WB. They're not going to abandon that strategy if there's a shot to get the Pistons, Red Wings and/or Tigers on their air to boost their own news product, and I think Nexstar will end up sucking it up and dealing with WADL because it's that or HC2 in the Detroit market for them.

 

I can definitely see a fair battle between Scripps and CBS to get the Red Wings/Tigers and/or Pistons though (Red Wings and Tigers will not be separated by Illich Holdings).

Edited by mrschimpf
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6 hours ago, mrschimpf said:

I can definitely see a fair battle between Scripps and CBS to get the Red Wings/Tigers and/or Pistons though (Red Wings and Tigers will not be separated by Illich Holdings).

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that WMYD and WKBD each land teams (the Red Wings and Tigers on WMYD and the Pistons on WKBD, or vice versa).

 

It’s also not impossible that WMYD takes The CW and snags a contract with one major-league team (e.g., the Pistons). Even if both stations acquire sports rights, I’m not sure if it makes sense for there to be two general entertainment independents in Detroit in this day and age (even-larger markets like New York, LA, Chicago and Philadelphia can make it work, but even that’s complicated to sustain there).

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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3 hours ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

If I had to guess, WPHL, KQCA, and KRON are almost certain to pick up the CW. Two hours in prime time plus LIVGolf on weekends doesn’t drastically alter the schedules of those stations.

 

As far as MyNet is concerned, would Fox even bother to look for another affiliate if they lose WPHL? They already don’t have an affiliate in Miami, and it’s not as though MyNet is much of a network anyway.

KRON is already a MyNetwork Affiliate unless KICU (KTVU Plus) picks up the affiliation

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14 minutes ago, SFTV said:

KRON is already a MyNetwork Affiliate unless KICU (KTVU Plus) picks up the affiliation

Nexstar owns KRON and most of The CW, and Fox owns KTVU/KICU and MyNetworkTV, so that’s an easy shift.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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2 hours ago, DirtyHarry said:

 

The big thing here is pro football. There is a lot of money to be made by owning both the local and national sides of that programming. And with CBS now being able to show more NFC games, they would be crazy to leave that affiliation with somebody else. Those two stations are going to be CBS. Why put money in other people's pockets?

 

Tampa too!

 

They were doing 3-year affiliation agreements, so my read on this is that they expire in early 2024.

 

If it were that easy...owners can easily retaliate too, especially in the case of Gray since they own the CBS affiliation in over 50 markets. They could make the affiliation agreement conditional on keeping CBS on WANF.

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With Nexstar owning the CW, they may be in play to have drawn the short straw.  With the implosion of the RSNs and the explosion of local news content, both are DVR-proof programming that can thrive on broadcast TV. 

 

Basically with Nexstar calling the shots at at the CW, they put themselves at a serious disadvantage without major investment from their former majority owners.

 

The netlet era is over, unless Nexstar can find gold.   So far it's a controversial golf league and an albatross news network.   If they were smart they would be pursuing the soon-to-be available sports leagues that the RSNs can no longer afford.

 

But of course the problem in all of this is retransmission revenue.   The programming is so expensive so it's going to come back somehow... Likely in the form of a blackout come renewal time.

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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1 hour ago, GoldenShine9 said:

 

If it were that easy...owners can easily retaliate too, especially in the case of Gray since they own the CBS affiliation in over 50 markets. They could make the affiliation agreement conditional on keeping CBS on WANF.

 

CBS isn't afraid to pull the trigger.

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3 hours ago, atlnews2 said:

 Root Sports in Seattle is majority owned by the Mariners. I think the most likely outcome there is the Kraken buying WBD’s share and having a NESN joint ownership situation. 

My understanding is that WBD is not looking to sell that share

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2 hours ago, channel2 said:

Doesn't Paramount need money bad? Wouldn't selling off KSTW or WTOG for cash help with that?

They’d probably be penalized tax-wise for selling them and in the case of KSTW, there’s no one to sell it to. Ditto with WUPA.

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5 hours ago, mrschimpf said:

Scripps dumped MNTV clearly to extend WXYZ's news reach and flee from a filler network in MNTV and the station's Granite-era failures post-WB. They're not going to abandon that strategy if there's a shot to get the Pistons, Red Wings and/or Tigers on their air to boost their own news product, and I think Nexstar will end up sucking it up and dealing with WADL because it's that or HC2 in the Detroit market for them.

 

I can definitely see a fair battle between Scripps and CBS to get the Red Wings/Tigers and/or Pistons though (Red Wings and Tigers will not be separated by Illich Holdings).

I also think they dumped MNTV because they are a bad network.  I can see them affiliating with the CW.  As for sports, Ch 20 can work around the CW schedule as they don’t offer nearly as much network programming.

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29 minutes ago, Rusty Muck said:

They’d probably be penalized tax-wise for selling them and in the case of KSTW, there’s no one to sell it to. Ditto with WUPA.

 

Somebody would probably want the spectrum...

 

Also you've gotta love big corporations and their aversion to paying taxes. They'd rather be in a cash crunch than pay taxes!

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35 minutes ago, Rusty Muck said:

They’d probably be penalized tax-wise for selling them and in the case of KSTW, there’s no one to sell it to. Ditto with WUPA.

There is, but it would be downright embarrassing (and would get all the FCC action, especially in Atlanta) to sell out to someone like HC2 or TCT. I will say Cox having 2 and 69 in Atlanta would be amusing just to see if their creative department would come with a slogan for being on both ends of the dial.

 

30 minutes ago, CircleWXYZ said:

I also think they dumped MNTV because they are a bad network.  I can see them affiliating with the CW.  As for sports, Ch 20 can work around the CW schedule as they don’t offer nearly as much network programming.

Their only non-Plus main channel affiliates (all from the Cordillera deal) are one legacy Journal station, and two former Tribunes and a Nexstar divested as part of that merger (not counting the WPIX stewardship). They have never taken a CW affiliation on their own volition, and I don't think they'll start adding new stations now.

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49 minutes ago, Rusty Muck said:

They’d probably be penalized tax-wise for selling them and in the case of KSTW, there’s no one to sell it to. Ditto with WUPA.

The one way CBS could shed KSTW to a commercial owner, if tax penalties weren’t an issue, is if they sold it to Sinclair to pair with KOMO, and Sinclair sold off KUNS in turn, in a way that turns it into a standalone operation. I’m not sure if TelevisaUnivision has the cap space to buy KUNS in such a scenario; Entravision might have an easier entry into Seattle.

Edited by T.L. Hughes
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