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The CW Adds Eight Affils

May 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The CW’s distribution commitments have surpassed 90 percent of the TV homes in the country, including all of the top 40 markets, with the announcement Tuesday that eight stations in the Sinclair Broadcast Group have signed affiliation agreements with the new network. The newly signed stations include six Sinclair-owned WB affiliates: KMWB-TV in Minneapolis, Minn., (the 15th-largest market in the country); WLFL-TV in Raleigh-Durham (and Fayetteville), N.C. (market No. 29); WNAB-TV in Nashville, Tenn. (No. 30); WVTV-TV in Milwaukee, Wis. (33); WTTO-TV in Birmingham-Tuscaloosa, Ala. (40); and KOCB-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla. (45); plus Sinclair-operated WNUV-TV in Baltimore, Md. (market No. 24). Also part of the deal announced Tuesday is independent KFBT-TV in Las Vegas ( 48).

The CW, a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp., will launch in September.

In March, Sinclair made affiliation agreements with Fox’s MyNetworkTV for 17 of its stations.

“A prime-time schedule that includes the most popular programming currently on The WB and UPN networks gives us an important sales and marketing advantage,” Sinclair President and CEO David Smith said in the announcement. “Since almost all of these stations are WB affiliates, over the years we’ve developed a strong rapport with key WB executives who are also part of The CW’s management team. Going forward, that will help us as we maximize the value of our CW affiliations.”

CW Chief Operating Officer John Maatta said: “We are thrilled to continue to be in business with David Smith and Sinclair Broadcast Group, building on an association we began when seven of these stations were affiliated with The WB. The addition of these key markets puts The CW at more than 90 percent total U.S. coverage and secures our clearance in the country’s 40 largest DMAs. These WB Sinclair stations were all top performers, with KOCB the No. 1-ranked WB affiliate. That gives us an outstanding launching pad for The CW in these markets.”