KTVT PULLS THE PLUG ON TEXAS REPLACEMENT RANGERS
KTVT in Dallas/Ft. Worth announced it would not broadcast
Rangers replacement games. The station, which becomes a CBS
affiliate in July, has been the team's flagship station for the
past 10 years and pays $4M a year for the rights. The move is
seen as "the latest in an ever-deepening rift" between the team
and station. KTVT tried to get out off its contract last winter
because of potential conflicts with CBS programming, but the
Rangers insisted on KTVT fulfilling the final year. Rangers
President Tom Schieffer says the team "could seek another local
outlet to televise the games or bring legal action in an attempt
to enforce the contract." The Yankees and Blue Jays' local TV
outlets are also refusing to broadcast replacement games (T.R.
Sullivan, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/14)....In New York, new MSG
President Dave Checketts met with Yankee officials about a
"requirement" that MSG Network pay its full $46M rights fee
payment for the season, even if replacement players play.
Checketts: "I told them I want them to see this as a
partnership, and we hope they resolve this" (Richard Sandomir,
N.Y. TIMES, 3/14).