CBS gets an Elmira affiliate


The Eye Network has been without an outlet in DMA #175, but come January 1st it will be added as a digital multicast of Lilly Broadcasting’s WENY-TV Elmira, NY. WENY will retain its ABC affiliation as well – and its CW affiliation. That will bring the affiliation count in Elmira-Corning to three owners and six networks.

“This marks the first time that CBS has had an affiliate based in Elmira.  We welcome this opportunity to not only enhance our service to our viewers in New York’s Southern Tier, but to also extend our successful relationship with Lilly Broadcasting, which owns WSEE-TV, our CBS affiliate in Erie, PA,” said Diana Wilkin, President, CBS Affiliate Relations.
“We’re very pleased and proud that WENY-DT will be bringing America’s Most Watched Network to our audiences and advertisers in Elmira. Combining CBS’s entertainment, news and sports programming with our line-up of local news and syndicated shows creates a quality, very promotable and saleable schedule with broad appeal,” said Brian Lilly, President and CEO, Lilly Broadcasting of Pennsylvania. “It’s exciting to be partnered with CBS for this new era in Elmira television and we’re looking forward to our successful launch on January 1,” he added.

WENY is not yet broadcasting in digital, since it will have to make a flash cut from analog to DTV as it stays on Channel 36. But Lilly Broadcasting already has its CW affiliation in Elmira-Corning up and running as a cable-only channel.

The CBS affiliation will give DMA #175 a total of six commercial network outlets. Newport has NBC WETM and Vision has Fox on WYDC, with MyNetworkTV on a DTV multicast and an LPTV.

RBR/TVBR observation: This industry’s future is multi-platform and multi-channel. Certainly the most attractive opportunities for digital multicasting are any of the Nielsen-rated English networks that don’t have a presence in your market, and, if yours is one of the many with a fast-growing Hispanic population, the Spanish networks. That’s in addition to making sure you have a viable, local and profitable Internet operation and, within the next few months, a mobile video strategy as well. That’s a lot of things to keep track of, but the objective is multiple streams of revenue. What’s not to like about that?