December 17, 2007 at 5:10 pm by Chris Churchill, Times Union Television station WNYA, Channel 15 in the Albany area, announced today that it will broadcast 21 New York Yankees games in 2008.
The agreement with the YES Network, which is owned by the baseball team, promises a dramatic ratings boost to a Rotterdam-based station that went on the air in 2004.
“It’s pretty big,” said Duncan Brown, the station’s general manager. “As the newest station in the market, we are always looking for building blocks that take us to the next level, and the New York Yankees are a big one. They’re the crown jewel of local sports programming.”
Yankees games had previously been available on WXXA, Channel 23. Cable subscribers in the Capital Region also can watch the Yankees on the YES Network.
WNYA is an over-the-air network available without a cable subscription. The station calls itself MyTV4 because of its position on Time Warner’s cable line-up (Channel 4). WNYA is also available on Channel 51 in the Pittsfield, Mass., area.
Duncan said the schedule for which games WNYA will carry has not been set.
WNYA is owned by Venture Technologies Group, a Los Angeles-based media company that owns and operates television stations throughout the United States.
This isn't even good news. Everyone was looking forward to getting to see the Yankees in HD this coming season on Fox23 and now it is switched to this new channel that obviously won't be in HD. It has gotten to the point where I won't watch sports that aren't in HD anymore so personally I can say I will not be watching any of the 21 games carried on this channel.
I will boycott every game not available in HD due to this. WNYA had better consider dealing with one of the other local channels to make a HD simulcast available or they will likely hear an ear full.
This group is more than 170 strong. Along with a few friends a piece we could easily gather 500-600 entries in an online petition boycotting this channel unless they make the games available in HD; OTA or timewarner. We could then forward this on to all of the local businesses who advertise on their network to rattle some activity.
Who is in?
Last Edit: Dec 17, 2007 23:13:41 GMT -5 by shanedude
Before everyone starts signing up as HD-Warriors, a couple of things are needed for WNYA to transmit an HD version of the Yankees games...
1. WNYA will need to complete their internal HD infrastructure. I have no idea where they are on this. 2. WNYA will need to receive the Yankees games in HD from YES... Wether that's satellite delivered or fiber delivered, it would need to be ironed out (and paid for by WNYA). 3. For Over-the-Air, WNYA has recently been granted the assignment of the soon-to-be-available rf13. First, however, WNYT will need to cease broadcasting on that signal. I sincerely think WNYT will keep their analog signal on 13 until the last day the FCC allows... currently Feb 2009, well after the 2008 season. 4. For Time Warner Cable, WNYA will need to have a new HD retransmission agreement in place with TWC.
So... for O-T-A, I think people are S-O-L. For cable, there's a chance, but it might be financially more than WNYA can handle at this time, but maybe not. Most of these costs will eventually have to be met at some point anyway.
WNYA deal a likely home run Low-rated station expects to see boost after acquiring rights to 21 Yankees games By CHRIS CHURCHILL, Business writer, Albany Times Union First published: Friday, March 14, 2008
ROTTERDAM -- For most of its short existence, WNYA has been a television station without a strong brand or identity. Station officials believe that's about to change. WNYA, which is Channel 15 or 51 over the air and Channel 4 on cable, has secured the rights to air 21 New York Yankees games. And it has hired former WTEN broadcaster Dan Murphy to be the station's frontman.
The moves bring hope and purpose to a station that has struggled since the 2006 merger of The WB and UPN, at the time two unprofitable networks targeting younger audiences.
WNYA had been a UPN affiliate and quickly joined the MyNetwork TV after UPN was folded into The CW.
But the programming offered by MyNetwork TV, launched in 2006 by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, hasn't exactly been a ratings-generating sensation. The network has been quite the opposite, actually.
"It got off to a slow start," conceded Duncan Brown, WNYA station manager.
So WNYA, which brands itself as MyTV4, faced a problem: It was connected to a network with few notable personalities, and it doesn't air local news, which is the primary way stations establish a bond with local audiences.
But the Yankees? Well, they have some notable personalities.
"You're immediately on the map once you sign the Yankees," said Chris Markellos, the station's general sales manager. "It's going to bring a lot of eyeballs to the station."
Though his star power may not rise to Derek Jeter-like levels, Murphy is a known figure in the Capital Region. The former sports anchor was at WTEN from 1989 to 2005 and hosted the program "Murphy's Law" on radio station WOFX (980 AM) before being fired in December.
"I'm going to be the face of the station," Murphy said of his WNYA role. "I'm here to give the station a local presence and be a person that people know."
Most immediately, Murphy will host a half-hour pre-game show before every Yankees game, with the first such broadcast set for April 18.
But Murphy expects to host a range of other shows, including non-sports programming. Monday was his first day at the station, which is located in a Rotterdam building that was once home to the WMHT public television and radio network.
WNYA executives declined to say how much they paid for the right to broadcast Yankees games, which had been seen on WXXA, Channel 23, the Fox affiliate in Albany. But they note the 21 games will be available nowhere else on Capital Region television. The rest can be seen on the Yankees-owned YES Network.
And three of the WNYA games will be against the Boston Red Sox, the 2007 winner of the World Series and the Yankees' archrival. The Red Sox also have a large contingent of Capital Region fans, so those games should bring boffo ratings for WNYA.
In fact, WNYA attempted to be the local outlet for both the Yankees and the Red Sox, said Brown, the station general manager. But Major League Baseball rules disallow the local broadcast of Red Sox games beyond New England's borders.
Chris Churchill can be reached at 454-5442 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Address: 17 Fern Lane, Rotterdam
Channels: Seen on channels 15 and 51 over the air, and Channel 4 by Time Warner subscribers
Owned by: Venture Technologies Group LLC, Los Angeles
I just got off the phone with Duncan Brown, VP of Operations for WNYA. I placed a phone call to him about a week ago, and left a voicemail asking the possibility of WNYA passing the Yankee games to Albany TWC in HD.
He did tell me that WNYA recently secured an agreement to send their HD signal to Albany TWC. Once they have the necessary equipment installed, those of us with TWC will be able to receive the Yankee games broadcast locally by WNYA in HD.
Duncan hopes to have the equipment soon, and intends to have it running (no promises) by the 1st or 2nd Yankee game on WNYA. (April 18th is the 1st game, April 25th is the second)
So, we should be able to watch all 162 Yankee games in HD this year! As a side note, I asked Duncan when he will have a digital OTA signal and he told me that because WNYA was a late addition to the Capital Region, the FCC would not allow them to broadcast digitally until the analog shutdown in February 2009. He said at that time, they intend to broadcast digitally from the shared tower in the Heldebergs on channel 13 (51). (WNYT - the local NBC affiliate channel 13 - actually broadcasts on digital channel 12 and the set top box remaps it to 13. Same will happen to WNYA...broadcast on digtal channel 13, but the set top box will remap it to channel 51.)
This is great news!! Very excited about this. Go Yanks
Great work skaggs.. Pleased that MYtv4 is willing to make this happen. They are very likely to attract much needed attention to their network now that all of us Yank fans can watch our team play in HD.
Thank you Mr. Brown and TWC for making this work!!!
Last Edit: Mar 30, 2008 19:49:06 GMT -5 by shanedude