After being bounced around TV outlets for decades, San Francisco’s crowd-drawing Pride parade Sunday will not be broadcast live for the first time in 20 years.
iHeartMedia, which most recently broadcast the event online, axed the live feed of this year’s parade, saying it didn’t get the sponsorship revenue it needs to make doing so viable. In recent years, such broadcasts of the parade have reportedly drawn a half-million people or so worldwide.
The blackout is the most recent development in the Pride parade’s tumultuous 20-year relationship with broadcasters, according to The Bay Area Reporter.
WB20, which is now Granite-owned independent KOFY, was the first station to air the parade live in 1995.
KRON, currently a Media General MyNetworkTV affiliate, took over in 2003, but dropped the over-the-air broadcast in 2007 when its license was up for renewal. At that time, the FCC was taking a relatively tough stance against indeceny after incidents like Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe "malfunction," the Reporter writes.
In the time since, the parade has aired on various digital and cable channels with the support of KOFY, which continues to sponsor it, Comcast, and Clear Channel, which has since been rebranded iHeartMedia, the Reporter writes. An iHeartMedia exec said the company hopes to return to producing parade coverage next year.