ITT, DOW JONES TO COMBINE ON NYC BIZ-SPORTS CHANNEL
Published August 3, 1995
The ITT Corp. and Dow Jones & Co. have agreed to pay New York City $207M for the city-owned WNYC-Channel 31, with the plan of transforming the station into a "24-hour sports, financial news and entertainment service," according to this morning's N.Y. TIMES. Richard Sandomir reports, "The goal is to make what is now a public television station into a superstation, like WTBS in Atlanta and WGN in Chicago, that can be beamed by satellite to cable systems around the country." With the Yankees, Knicks and Rangers, whose broadcast rights are held largely by MSG Network, owned by a ITT-Cablevision partnership -- and the expectation that the new WNYC would negotiate for partial rights to the Mets, Nets, Islanders and Devils -- the station could have a lineup of seven New York teams. During the day, Dow Jones would provide business and financial programming. ITT would also provide programming from its Caesar's hotels -- concerts, boxing and tennis. One exec involved in the talks said MSG and WNYC "would not show games simultaneously. Instead, the strategy will be to allow viewers without cable television to see some games of local teams." ITT-Dow Jones would look to double WNYC's signal strength. The timetable on turning the station into a superstation has not been determined (N.Y. TIMES, 8/3). Because of must-carry provisions, WNYC will have immediate access to the large metropolitan New York cable TV audience. Another likely way of going national would be through direct broadcast satellite (Reilly & Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).