TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: For Unlucky Ones, Sox Out of Sight

Re: For Unlucky Ones, Sox Out of Sight

Garrett Wollman (
Wed, 1 Feb 2006 05:18:22

In article <>, Barry Margolin
<> wrote:

> Poor channel 38. First they lose their network (channel 56 is going
> to be the Boston affiliate of the new CW network after the WB/UPN
> merger), now they lose their baseball games.

Actually, they'll probably make more money.

All of WSBK-TV's operations are shared with WBZ-TV and WLWC. So the
principal costs of operating channels 38 and 39 are programming,
electricity, and rental at the UHF Candelabra (where channel 38, but
not channel 39, transmits from). They probably have a good deal on
rent at the Candelabra, since CBS was in a better negotiating position
than American Tower at their last lease renewal[1] -- they should be
paying less than $100,000, and perhaps less than half that, per month.
Power, based on a NStar's current large-commercial rates, should be
about $150,000 a month. Programming is free (or in some cases even
paid). A sales manager who couldn't sell $300 an hour wouldn't be
working in market #6, and I'd expect several times that.[2]

Network programming is more expensive to run, because the networks
demand a greater fraction of the spot time than do other programming
distributors. (I don't believe either WB or UPN pay affiliate
compensation, or if they do, it's peanuts.) Sports programming
actually *costs* money.


[1] CBS owns its own tower just down the road, where channel 39 is
already located. There's no technical reason channel 38 couldn't move
there (there's space in the building and the lower UHF master is
already broadband), so there's a limit on what American Tower can ask
without losing the business entirely -- and both companies know this.

[2] Disclaimer: I don't know anyone who works in that part of the
business so my numbers could be way off. I don't think so, though --
I think even infomercials pay more than $300/hour in top-10 markets.

-- Garrett A. Wollman | As the Constitution endures, persons in every | generation can invoke its principles in their
own Opinions not those| search for greater freedom. of MIT or CSAIL.

| - A. Kennedy, Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

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