MyNetwork gets a new lease on life


MyNetworkTV never achieved the sort of rating success that News Corporation had hoped for when it was launched in 2006. Along the way it was downgraded from being called a full-fledged “network” to a “program service.” Nonetheless, it is still doing well enough that News Corp. and the affiliates are keeping it around for at least another three years.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns a large group of stations carrying MyNet programming, announced last week that it had renewed its affiliation agreement running until the start of the Fall 2014 TV season. However, Sinclair’s contract also includes early cancellation options beginning in 2012.

In the company’s Q4 conference call with analysts Sinclair Television Group COO Steve Marks said there was currently no alternative available. “The provisions that we put in the contract are clearly there to protect the company’s interests,” Marks said. “As of today they’re the only game in town. No one has stepped up to compete with them to program those time periods. I would think as the economy continues to pick up and turns the corner that maybe further down the road other suppliers will be looking at those time periods.” He also noted that over the past 12 months MyNetwork has become more competitive. “They’re putting up some interesting numbers the past 12 months,” Marks added.

The bail-out provisions are apparently unique to Sinclair. Nexstar CEO Perry Sook told RBR-TVBR that his group renewed for the next three years without any early cancellation options. That’s apparently the case with most MyNetwork affiliates.