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BULLETS/CAPS SIGN WITH NEW NON-CABLE TV STATION
Published April 10, 1995
The Bullets and Capitals will switch their non-cable telecasts from WDCA-20 to WFTY-50 for next season. Both teams will remain on HTS for their cable telecasts, and HTS's parent company, Group W, will do the production work for games on both WFTY-50 and HTS. The Bullets will have at least 30 road games telecast on WFTY-50. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, "but it's probably similar to the deal with WDCA in which the Bullets and Caps were paid straight rights fees." The teams had considered bringing the broadcasts in-house, but instead sold the rights fees (Richard Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 4/8). ST. LOUIS: KPLR is negotiating with ESPN to televise the Cardinals' opener on April 26. ESPN's contract with MLB stipulates that no over-the-air stations can broadcast games on Wednesday nights. KPLR had asked the Cardinals to move the game to the daytime which would have allowed the station to air the game, but the team won't change noting that a night game allows school-aged kids to attend. The opening game is normally the highest rated Cardinal telecast of the year for KPLR. ESPN is unlikely to grant KPLR a reprieve (Dan Caesar, ST. LOUIS POST- DISPATCH, 4/9). AND IN BOSTON: Since WSBK-TV in Boston could not find enough sponsors to underwrite coverage of two Red Sox exhibition games on the final weekend of the extended spring training, NESN will carry all but one of the 12 Red Sox exhibitions scheduled for TV coverage. ESPN has the rights to next Sunday's game. WSBK's renegotiation of its $17.2M deal with the Sox this season is unresolved. The station now plans 70 regular-season telecasts, down five from '94 because of the late start. More Red Sox telecasts could be lost if there are conflicts with Bruins and Celtics playoff games (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/9).