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NBC CHARGES BOSTON AFFILIATE WITH BREACH OF NFL CONTRACT
Published December 22, 1994
NBC is upset with WBZ-TV, the network's Boston affiliate, for failing to switch to the beginning of the Dolphins-Colts 4pm game last Sunday after the Patriots beat the Bills. WBZ instead ran "Fifth Quarter," a Patriots- sponsored wrap-up show, for over 17 minutes before switching to the game in progress. NBC Sports spokesperson Ed Markey: "They violated the contract. We pay $868 million (over four seasons) for pro football and they do an a la carte menu on us." It apparently won't happen this Saturday after WBZ parent company, Westinghouse, "agreed to commit in writing" to carry the entire Pats-Bears and Chiefs-Raiders games this weekend. "Fifth Quarter" has run for 12 Sundays and is largely advertiser-driven, with part of the revenue going to the Patriots. WBZ switches its affiliation to CBS on January 2, with WHDH picking up NBC and any potential Patriot playoff games (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/22).