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WKBN programming affront to Browns fans



Published: Sun, December 9, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

WKBN programming affront to Browns fans

I realize that the NFL and the FCC have rules that apply to programming rights for NFL broadcasts in markets that are within the radius of multiple teams. That being said, when there is a choice as to which game is to be broadcast, I feel that WKBN completely favors the Pittsburgh market and their fan base over the Cleveland market and fan base.

When FCC rules apply, I may be disappointed, but I understand the reasoning. However, when both franchises are either at home or away and playing at the same time, the Cleveland game should ALWAYS be shown. Youngstown is in Ohio, not Pennsylvania. I realize WKBN’s signal and your coverage goes into Pennsylvania, but the decision seems to be based entirely on money, not loyalty. Those of us who have grown up in the Mahoning Valley and have followed the rich tradition of the Cleveland Browns are being completely slighted by the more recent successes of the Pittsburgh franchise.

Our team was unceremoniously taken away from us in 1995 and moved to Baltimore. We patiently waited three years to reacquire our franchise as an expansion team and unfortunately have not had the success of the prior Browns franchise, but that does not make this region’s fan base completely that of the Steelers. WKBN’s decisions the past two weeks to black out the Browns and broadcast the Steelers is entirely unacceptable. At the very least, you should have split the two weeks giving the fans of each team the chance to watch their favorite team at least once.

Perhaps the ratings are a bit greater when the Steelers are broadcast, but that is in part the doings of WKBN by inhibiting the fans of the Browns from watching their team. Their fan base may very well be decreasing because WKBN continually favors the Steelers’ fan base over that of the Browns. Shame on WKBN. We are still Ohioans, the birthplace of professional football and Cleveland is the NFL team based in northeastern Ohio. Your decisions to broadcast the Steelers are as seemingly shallow as the reasons used by LeBron James when he, too, jilted Cleveland fans. Money and glory, but certainly not loyalty.

I am certainly not alone in my disgust of WKBN’s “business” decisions to favor the Steelers fan base over the Browns fan base in Youngstown, Ohio, not Youngstown, Pa. I will NEVER watch WKBN when the Steelers are being broadcast and I will encourage all Browns fans to do the same if they are not already boycotting your station.

James DeToro, Austintown


Comments

1UncleStink(12 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Mr DeTorro,
I can respect your passion for your team, and I would be upset if my team was not televised locally. However, just by saying that because the Browns are in Northeast Ohio, they should be shown is pretty weak. Pittsburgh is actually closer to us, than Cleveland is. Pittsburgh has just as great, if not greater tradition than the Browns, and when it comes down to having to pick which team to show... I personally would want to see a team that still has a shot at the playoffs. If the roles were reversed, I would not cry in my beer, if the Brownies were shown over the Steelers. Please do everyone a favor and BOYCOTT WKBN, maybe then WKBN won't feel conflicted about showing one of the premier NFL teams over one of the NFL's doormats!

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2GoPens(397 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

The Browns should be an affront to Browns fans, not WKBN.

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3jerryvalley(20 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm with you Mr. DeToro. I have joined the boycott.

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4MLC75(500 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

They should have showed the Browns,the Steelers looked terrible.Steelers lost and Browns won,lol.

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5JMHO(118 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Folks like "UncleStink" who use the logic "Pittsburgh is just as close as Cleveland" show their hypocracy. Why do they cheer for Ohio State and not Pitt. After all Pittsburgh is closer than Columbus isn't it? Answer: They are FRONTRUNNERS.
UncleStink, you would have no right to be upset if they showed the Browns if the roles were reversed because we are in OHIO! If you Ohio Steeler fans want to watch your team travel over the border to Pa and pick up a Pittsburgh station.

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6UncleStink(12 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I dont cheer for ohio state, actually cant stand them. Being originally from the Pittsburgh area and rooting for Pittsburgh teams including Pitt, hardly make me a frontrunner. Heck, I still root for the Pirates, I definitely doubt you could call me a frontrunner. Your logic is a little off JMOC. You guys think because your Brownies aren't on, your being screwed. Make the playoffs, heck just be in a playoff race once in 10 years, and you might get back on tv in this area. Until then, WKBN, I applaud you for having the guns to show meaningful football games!

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7JMHO(118 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

The point is not whether your team is in the "playoff hunt." It's the loyalty to your local team. You follow them and want to watch them whether they are good or bad. With your logic of congratulating WKBN for showing "meaningful games", they should then show whatever the national game is that week which more often than not will be neither team. BTW, Uncle Stink you are the exception to my OSU/Steelers rule. Most Ohio Steeler fans root for the Steelers, OSU and Indians. Can never figure that one out.

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8YtownBrown10(1 comment)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Nice try uncle stink. It's possible that if you live in Columbiana, or some parts of Poland that you may be a bit closer to Pitt, but as a whole the entire town region is closer to Clev and to its suburbs such as Beachwood, which only take a mere 45 min to drive to from Austintown. The ytown community roots are rich with Browns Indians cavs Ohio st. I would argue there are even many more Browns fans here than steeler fans. And they are the authentic sports fan, not soccer moms and front runner steeler fans. One only needed to witness the Kosar years, the town was painted brown and orange and excitement about Browns football and was everywhere. The same cannot be said for the steelers even when they are in the superbowl. And yes, we are from Ohio, the true sports fans in the area follow Ohio teams. Enough said. Go Browns, the true NFL team of ytown.

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