MyTV joins MyNetwork
Sat Jul 22 16:05:31 EDT 2006
> I recall that several years ago, channel 21 in Concord, NH became an
> affiliate of the CBS Television Network. It made sense to me; why
> should a UHF station in the Manchester Metro Market try to compete with
> channel 9 with movies and reruns? Channel 21 also tried to include
> local news in the mix, but didn't have the financial wherewithal to carry
> on. 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?
You can pretty much blame the FCC's cable must-carry rules for this one.
Because the FCC defines the "Boston" TV market as including not only
most of eastern Massachusetts but also most of NH and even a bit of VT,
any station licensed anywhere in that area can claim cable carriage (and
satellite carriage) throughout the area.
The market definitions, as they now stand, pretty much reflect the
built-out reality of television circa about 1995. If WNHT had been just
a little stronger financially, or had been around a few years longer,
there might have been just enough viewership specific to the NH stations
(not just 9 and 21 but also 50 and 60) to have designated a
"Manchester-Concord" market separate from Boston, in which case NBC and
Fox might eventually have signed affiliates up there as well. But there
wasn't - and by 1995, 21 had become nothing more than a satellite of
Boston's 68 in any event - so enough viewership went to Boston to more
or less lock Manchester/Concord into the Boston market.
From the point of view of channels 21, 50 and 60, that probably was the
right move - would you rather be a second-tier CBS affiliate with a
market of 300,000 people in central New Hampshire, or would you rather
have a reach that includes 4 or 5 million people as far south as
Foxborough and Plymouth? If I'm trying to make money selling advertising
(and even more so if I eventually want to sell my station to a "greater
fool"), I think I'd rather be the small fish in a huge pond,
particularly given the NH market dominance of channel 9. The licenses
for 50 and 60 have changed hands in recent years for far more money (as
"Boston-market" must-carry licenses) than they'd ever have been worth as
weak competitors to channel 9 for a Manchester-Concord audience.
In any event, as long as the market is defined the way it is, the CBS,
NBC and Fox affiliations aren't available to channel 50, since they're
already very much taken for the entire "Boston market."
More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest