Local Broadcast of Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh Thursday

I was going to include this in my weekly posting on the coverage maps for the East Liverpool area, but the maps for Fox won’t be up until Wednesday, and I wanted to go ahead and get the info out there.  This Thursday the Steelers will host the Bengals as part of the Thursday Night package on the NFL Network.  Being a cable game, it will be shown locally in Pittsburgh (and presumably Cincinnati) on a “free” over-the-air TV station.  Right of 1st refusal for NFL Network games goes to the flagship TV channel for non-national TV preseason games.  In Pittsburgh, that is the CBS affiliate, KDKA channel 2.  Which gives them a conundrum, as we are in November sweeps and Thursday night is anchored by the popular drama CSI.  KDKA would likely get higher ratings if they showed the Steelers game, as you have to have Comcast digital tier sports package, the Dish Network sports tier, or DirecTV Choice or above base package to get the NFL-N.  In other words, not a ton of people in the Pittsburgh area get the NFL-N w/o mooching off a friend or hitting a sports bar.  But KDKA will also get strong ratings for CSI and I’m sure CBS does not want that show to be blacked out in any market, particularly a new run episode at sweeps time.  So KDKA is playing their out card; they are putting the game on their sister station, Pittsburgh’s CW affiliate.  Which should satisfy people in the immediate Pittsburgh area, but will hurt plenty of Steelers fans in the fringes of their area, including East Liverpool, as Comcast does not include Pittsburgh’s CW affiliate, and satellite subscribers get Youngstown locals only.

This is not unprecedented.  A few years ago a Steelers game in Miami (Ben Roethlisberger’s 1st start, as a matter of fact) was moved to Monday Night because of a hurricane.  The CBS affiliates in Pittsburgh and Miami retained broadcast rights, but KDKA opted to move the game to the CW.  The only reason I got to see that game was because WKBN, the CBS affiliate in Youngstown, picked up the game (I guess they had the right to as Youngstown is a secondary market of the Steelers even though they usually show the Browns and indeed did that Sunday afternoon).  At any rate, it makes logical sense for KDKA to do that I guess, but thankfully I have Comcast digital sports tier so I can watch the NFL-N feed straight.

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One Response to “Local Broadcast of Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh Thursday”

  1. cindy k Says:

    what exactly is a “cw” station?

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