View Full Version : Nice article in the Wichita eagle about the game

10-21-2005, 04:00 PM
Posted on Fri, Oct. 21, 2005
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Kansas City Chiefs

Fans can't see Chiefs on TV


The Wichita Eagle

Wichitan Ron Gilmore isn't a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan -- his first allegiance is to the St Louis Rams -- but he does cheer for and follow the football team.

He can't help it. As president of the Coleman Employees Club, Gilmore constantly finds himself discussing the Chiefs with co-workers. For the past three years, Gilmore has arranged a Coleman employees group outing to Arrowhead Stadium, packing tour buses each time.

On Thursday, news that the Chiefs game at Miami had been re-scheduled from Sunday to tonight because of Hurricane Wilma's projected path was the talk of Gilmore's office.

"Everybody was excited about it," he said. "Everyone was making plans to watch."

It's going to take a significant drive for that to happen. The Chiefs-Dolphins game, with a 6 p.m. kickoff, will be televised by CBS affiliates in Kansas City and Topeka, but Wichita's KWCH, Channel 12, was denied permission to air the broadcast.

The NFL ruled that only home markets and stations within 75 miles of the teams' stadiums could air the game. There will be no cable or satellite telecasts, either.

KWCH announced the NFL's decision during its noon newscast, and general manager Joan Barrett said the result was "a constant stream of calls."

Chiefs fans were not happy, and neither was Barrett. She made multiple pleas to CBS and the NFL to no avail.

"We're respecting the spirit of a long-standing policy not to conflict with high school and college football," said Seth Palansky, the NFL's director of media relations. "It isn't ideal."

The NFL's stance actually goes back to a 1966 amendment to antitrust laws. Although a 1961 congressional exemption made contracts between television networks and professional sports leagues immune from antitrust scrutiny, that 1966 amendment withdrew immunity for professional football telecasts on Friday or Saturday nights if any high school or college football game was being played within 75 miles of the broadcast station.

Skip Oliva, president of the Citizens for Voluntary Trade, told Fox Sports Radio last year that the NCAA lobbied Congress for the Friday-Saturday ban to protect interest in college and high school football.

The NFL faced this same situation last year when Hurricane Ivan forced a Dolphins home game to be played on a Saturday. That game was televised only in home markets and those within 75 miles. Oliva said a national telecast would have opened the NFL up to a potential antitrust lawsuit.

While airing a game only in the immediate area might not overly affect NFL teams from large cities, where the fan base is localized, it's a huge blow for the Chiefs, who play in one of the NFL's smallest markets.

"What we can't seem to get across (to the league) is this is a regional franchise," said Bob Moore, the team's director of public relations. "We draw from all over: Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa. We think it's unfair. What makes it worse is even those with DirecTV won't get it."

That means local sports bars are out of luck, too.

No one is quite sure of the last time a regular-season Chiefs game was not televised in Wichita. Tom Holzman, a producer at KSNW, Channel 3 -- which for years televised the Chiefs as part of NBC's package -- said he can't remember Kansas City not being televised here since he started in 1983.

One might have to go back to Oct. 8, 1978, when the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-29 during their first 2 seasons) played the 1-4 Chiefs. KARD, now KSNW, chose to air Baltimore at St. Louis instead.

Palansky said that as "a way to appease fans," the NFL is working on a re-broadcast of the game Sunday evening on the NFL Network, received locally on digital cable and satellite.

That doesn't help much tonight. Instead, around the city, there may be many scenes of forgotten times played out, fans huddled around the radio broadcast on KTHR, 107.3-FM.

Gilmore expects the Chiefs will again be the hot topic at his office today, but there will be some frustrated voices.

"Not being able to watch it on TV is going to be disappointing to everyone," he said. "I'd imagine the big Chiefs fans will be pretty upset."

10-21-2005, 04:18 PM
THIS ****ING SUCKS! As long as the defense plays awesome and the offense shows signs of the days of old i will be happy. Just win chiefs thats all i care about!