WFLA Could Lose Bucs Preseason Broadcasts

April 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.

18 Responses to “WFLA Could Lose Bucs Preseason Broadcasts”

  1. Amar Says:

    I can hear the fans crying already, “It’s all the Glazers fault!”.

  2. Joe Says:

    I can hear the fans crying already, “It’s all the Glazers fault!”.

    Manchester United.

  3. Gary Says:

    total non story, if they dont renew some other channel will pick it up because not televising the games is not an option.

    and lynch and meyers will be retained.

  4. Bob Ross Says:

    So, how much do you think the Bucs should pay the TV station to carry exhibition games?

  5. Joe Says:

    total non story

    LOL Good thing you don’t work in newspapers.

    “NFL roster cuts? Total non-story. Someone will play.”

    “Presidential election in 2012? Total non-story. Someone will be president.” :)

  6. Joe Says:

    Bob Ross:

    Just finished replying to an e-mail from a Bucs beat reporter on a related question.

    Joe is confident every station in town would be interested in broadcasting Bucs preseason games but who is going to shell out top dollar when, in the first year of the contract, there may not be any games?

  7. Matt Says:

    Maybe I’m missing something but, as a viewer, why do I care if the game is on NBC vs. FOX. vs. CBS…especially if the broadcasting team is the same?

  8. Matt Says:

    Note: I’m not saying it’s not newsworthy, I’m just saying it’s not anything that, as a fan, we need to worry about.

    More like, “Oh, BTW, put the channel on 13 instead of 8.”

  9. Joe Says:

    Matt:

    Color Joe stupid, but wouldn’t Bucs fans actually want to know what channel to turn to in order to watch the games?

    There’s a reason why NFL schedules include what broadcast entity is televising games. Hell, even the Bucs on their own website will list the channels.

  10. Joe Says:

    Joe might also add that whenever there is a change in a broadcast partner, there is always the chance that the broadcast team could also change.

  11. Jim Says:

    Why isn’t there a weekly coach’s or team show on one of the network channels? I believe Bright House does have a show but I left them to get the NFL network with another cable provider.

  12. Joe Says:

    Jim:

    Seems like you answered your own question. There are tons of coaches shows — unemployed coaches — on the NFL Network during the season.

    As for a weekly local team show, the answer is simple. Cash. If a station could sell it, there would be one.

  13. Matt Says:

    Joe, my point was: fans don’t care, in advance, that the channel MIGHT change. It’s a story when the channel DOES change.

    It’s like the NFL lockout on a much smaller scale…without any impact to the fans who know that, at the end of the day in THIS situation, they’re still going to see their football regardless.

  14. Joe Says:

    Matt:

    Joe sees your point but Joe doesn’t believe this is anything different than Barrett Ruud being a free agent. Ruud may be back; he may not.

    If your standard was used in relation to Ruud (or any other free agent), for example, Joe wouldn’t write a word about the guy until he signed with someone.

    Right now the Bucs preseason broadcast property is a free agent. And again, when/if the stations change, so too could the announcers which Joe has already noticed people are interested in.

  15. JAS Says:

    So…people do watch preseason games?

  16. Matt Says:

    Joe, well…maybe.

    Of course, Ruud being a free agent actually impacts wins and losses.

    Even if the announcers changed (which you said in your post they may not), I’d be interested to see if the average fan cared. While I like the team of Chris Myers and John Lynch, I really wouldn’t care too much…especially for a preseason game.

  17. Joe Says:

    Matt:

    People go nuts about announcers. Just look at the amount of words typed over Gus Johnson, Matt Millen, Dick Vitale, Joe Buck, Chris Berman, et al.

    Those guys keep some blogs in business alone, like AwfulAnnouncing.com.

  18. alan thomas Says:

    put them back on wtog. i long for the days of the song “the bucs start here, upn 44″. oh the good old days.

 
 

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