MyTV joins MyNetwork

Scott Fybush
Sat Jul 22 16:11:14 EDT 2006

Doug Drown wrote:
> <<Since "major" network affiliations exist in markets as close
>> as Boston/Providence,  Springfield/Hartford and many more, wouldn't
>> it be a better bet for 50 to affiliate with CBS, NBC or Fox?>>
> Good question --- and one which raises a couple more.  I understand that
> WMUR-TV was originally a CBS affiliate, but switched to ABC back around 1960
> or thereabouts.  The station has changed hands twice in the past thirty
> years; with each change in ownership, have the other networks tried to wrest
> it away from that ABC affiliation?  And . . . Why ABC?  It gives the network
> a very advantageous toehold in the state.  (I guess if I were an exec with
> Disney/ABC, I'd have my answer right there.)

At this point, the "why ABC?" question lies squarely at the feet of 
Hearst-Argyle, which paid an obscene amount of money a few years back to 
put WMUR under common ownership with WCVB, thus creating a 
"best-of-both-worlds" scenario and eliminating a slight disadvantage 
WCVB would otherwise have had in the Boston market (since it had to 
split ABC viewership in NH with WMUR, while WBZ and WHDH had exclusive 
market rights for CBS and NBC). Now, Hearst gets the viewership 
regardless of whether people are watching WCVB or WMUR, and it gets the 
incredible amount of political ad revenue WMUR takes in every four years 
at primary time - and it doesn't have to worry about covering NH stories 
on WCVB as much, since those viewers have WMUR to cater specifically to 

Given the level of cable penetration in southern NH, combined with the 
fact that most cable systems now get a fiber feed of the Boston stations 
rather than receiving them off the air, I'm actually somewhat surprised 
we haven't seen the other Boston stations offer separate regional news 
and advertising feeds for the NH piece of the market (or, for that 
matter, for Worcester and vicinity). It would be easy enough to 
accomplish on a technical level.


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