WFLA Could Lose Bucs Preseason BroadcastsApril 21st, 2011
In recent years, several years in fact, Bucs fans have grown accustomed if not conditioned to turning to WFLA-TV Channel 8 for all Bucs preseason games that are not picked up by a network for a national broadcast.
That may change this season. WFLA’s contract to broadcast the Bucs preseason games has expired and the 2011 preseason broadcast home of the Bucs is in limbo.
Joe has learned that it is possible WFLA could retain the preseason broadcast rights with a new contract.
“Our rights did expire,” said Joyce Lueders, the director of finance of WFLA. ‘I’m not sure where we are on the negotiations.”
A Bucs team spokesman declined to comment on the subject.
Joe initially spoke with WFLA news director Don North who stated, “I have no idea” and suggested Joe speak with Lueders who in turn advised Joe to speak with Florida Communications Group president John Schueler for more detailed information on the status of negotiations with the Bucs on a new rights contract.
Schueler did not immediately return Joe’s call Wednesday afternoon. Florida Communications Group oversees all of Media General’s properties in the Tampa Bay region. Both WFLA and its corporate partner The Tampa Tribune are owned by Media General.
The expired Bucs broadcast rights with WFLA is separate from the contract the team has with the Tampa Tribune as a corporate sponsor, or “Pewter Partner.” Per the Sports Business Journal Daily, the Tribune’s current 10-year, $20.1 million contract with the Bucs is set to expire in January 2013.
While the future home for Bucs preseason broadcasts is uncertain, Joe has learned the Bucs hope to keep the preseason broadcast team of Chris Myers and John Lynch together. The team holds both in high regard and would encourage a new broadcast partner to retain the duo.