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Re: Hub/66 Debut

--- PublicRef2 <norwood@mln.lib.ma.us> wrote:
> I also seem to recall that the conversion of Channel 66 was supposed to
> be July 1st, not July 31st.

I think the initial date was just a target off the press
release which didn't have many details. The July 31(couple
trades mentioned Aug.1st) is now the actual launch date.

> I think there may be several possible reasons. Anyone who knows for sure
> can send a response to the list.

There are always reaons but I don't think most of those you list
really apply here....

> The reasons could be:
> (1) Has coversion of the station's new studio/office facility on
> Portland Street in Boston gone slower than anticipated, and thus, it
> might not be ready for July 1st?

For now, this is not going to be a full production facility.
The Portland Street office will serve strictly as an administrative
and a sales base for now. Programming will be piped via a sat. dish at a
transmitter site in Hudson :

USA Broadcasting(USAB) has set up a centralized technical operations
center in Ontario,CA. to run the master controls for *all* its converted
stations(most recently KSTR/Dallas and WHOT/Atlanta) and it has a 
centralized promotions department at WAMI/Miami to turn out promotions
packages and station IDs. Even Dallas Maverics(NBA), Atlanta Hawks(NBA),
Dallas Burn(MLS) telecasts are fed to the Ontario center first
and then piped over to the respective markets. Today, centralization is
the only way to enter a new market without incredibly high start-up
costs associated with building a station in a top10 market...

Hub 66 will be imaged as "The Hub Of Your Television Universe" and 
use "Dirty Water" (featuring the lyric, "Boston, you're my home") 
as its launch theme...Sounds like they're doing it right...:)

> (2) Was Channel 66 supposed to acquire the rights to syndicated
> programming held by Channel 68, purchased by the latter before Pax
> bought them? Could that deal be in trouble/delayed/dead?
> (After all, Pax stations do not need syndicated programming, but Channel
> 68, before the sale, did buy the rights to lots of movies and to some
> syndicated shows, rights to some of which still have several years to
> run)

USAB has already bought lots of classic syndication packages("Cheers",
"Taxi", "The Benny Hill Show",etc) off-network fare including many
shows produced by various USA Nework units for its converted UHF
stations. I don't think they need to work out any kind of deals with

> (3) With Channels 4, 5 and 7 going all-out for the Tall Ships (arriving
> July 11th), USA Broadcasting (Channel 66's owners) may have decided that
> July 1st would be a poor time to start the "new" Channel 66 because the
> station might not get many viewers during mid-July--everyone
> might be watching the Tall Ships on Channels 4, 5 and 7!

Tall Ships is nothing more than a marketing ploy to boost newscast
ratings by the local affils. I don't see how that impacts plans for
a launch of a new station without any public affairs or news programming

Judging by their other markets -- Miami, Atlanta and Dallas --
it's still an uphill battle for USAB to roll out a national network.
None of these stations have been turning a profit yet and none of
them made any noticeable dent in the local ratings so far.
I think with NYC, Chicago and LA all rolling out on Jan.1,2001,
things should get more interesting and USAB would start getting
noticed by syndicators and advertisers....

> One other note: Doesn't the contract signed last year between FSNE and
> the Celtics (which gives FSNE all local Celtics' TV rights) allow FSNE
> to sub-lease or sell-off rights to 25 regular-season
> games (of FSNE's choosing; this would mean the "stiffs"--and not the
> "good" teams like the Lakers, Indiana, and New York) to a local
> over-the-air TV station? If it does, watch for Hub/66 to start
> broadcasting the Celtics this fall.

With a strong USAB-Ticketmaster ties, it makes sense for struggling
C's to shift some road games from FSNE to WHUB to promote ticket
sales at the FleetCenter. Also, next spring WHUB could get
some road New England Revolution games from Kraft which does
a time-buy on FSNE right now....


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