Sports off broadcast TV in Detroit

Local broadcasts of Detroit Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings games have been locked up by cable channel FSN Detroit for the next 10 years, keeping the games off of broadcast TV in the Motor City (unless their respective broadcast network partners – i.e. Fox with MLB, NBC with the NHL, etc. carries a game.) It also erases the possibility of the teams starting up their own cable sports network.

Pistons games will exclusive to FSN for the first time, while Red Wings games have been exclusive to the sports net since 2003. Ratings for the Pistons and Red Wings on FSN are very competitive with the broadcast networks’ fare and outdraw both CW and My Network TV (thank you, writers’ strike.)

At one time, some Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings games aired on WKBD-TV, which pushed them aside because the station thought it would find greater success with UPN and The CW. Um, wrong.

WKBD was Detroit’s Fox affiliate until 1994, when the New World-Fox affiliation swap sent Fox to WJBK-TV.