The CW network secured distribution on eight Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned stations Tuesday, bringing its total distribution to more than 90% of the country.
Sinclair was the last major broadcast group that had not cut a deal with The CW. The pact gives the network clearance in key top 50 markets, including Baltimore and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The Sinclair affiliates signing on with The CW are KMWB Minneapolis (No. 15); WNUV Baltimore (No. 24).; WLFL Raleigh-Durham, N.C., (No. 29); WNAB Nashville, Tenn. (No 30); WVTV Milwaukee, Wis. (No. 33); WTTO/WDBB Birmingham-Tuscaloosa, Ala.(No. 40); KOCB Oklahoma City (No. 45); and KFBT Las Vegas (No. 48). Seven of the stations are WB affiliates, and KFBT is an independent.
“We’re very pleased to add our stations in these markets to The CW’s affiliate family,” said David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, in a statement. “A prime time schedule that includes the most popular programming currently on The WB and UPN networks gives us an important sales and marketing advantage. Since almost all of these stations are WB affiliates, over the years we’ve developed a strong rapport with key WB executives who are also part of The CW’s management team. Going forward, that will help us as we maximize the value of our CW affiliations.”
Said The CW COO John Maatta, “We are thrilled to continue to be in business with David Smith and Sinclair Broadcast Group, building on an association we began when seven of these stations were affiliated with The WB. The addition of these key markets puts The CW at more than 90% total U.S. coverage and secures our clearance in the country’s 40 largest DMAs. These WB Sinclair stations were all top performers, with KOCB the #1 ranked WB affiliate. That gives us an outstanding launching pad for The CW in these markets.”
Also Tuesday, Sinclair renewed its affiliations with Fox for a new six-year term. The company owns and operates 19 Fox outlets.
"It was important for us to maintain our alliance with FOX. They now have some of the top programs on network television,” Smith said. “Their program popularity, coupled with their aggressive approach towards broadband integration and news coverage, may allow our FOX stations to continue growing in viewing and advertising shares.”