Losing Fox could be Costly to Charlotte Station

Charlotte is the home to NASCAR. Fox has NASCAR coverage.

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WCCB in Charlotte is going to lose their Fox affiliation, you see where this is headed.

The Charlotte station's loss of Fox just in NASCAR coverage alone could be very costly.

The Charlotte Observer writes while issues around the Fox affiliation switch in Charlotte this summer are yet to be worked out, lessons can be drawn from a similar situation.

In 2008, Fox moved its shows from one San Diego station to another, replacing the CW network’s prime-time lineup with Fox programming. Late local newscast viewers moved with the network. A year after the switch, the new Fox affiliate was drawing a 4.1 percent share of 10 p.m. news viewers, the same percentage that the former affiliate was drawing.

But the other station, which switched from Fox to the CW network, saw a decline of 10 p.m. viewers. It went from a 4.1 percent share of viewers at 10 p.m. to 3.4 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That meant that the former CW affiliate that switched to Fox saw a 193 percent jump in late news ratings. At the new CW affiliate, the 10 p.m. share dropped 17 percent.

In San Diego, viewers followed the Fox network to its new home. If the same trend occurs here, it signals trouble for WCCB.

Fox Television is buying Charlotte’s WJZY (Channel 46) and WMYT (Channel 55) from Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting for $18 million. Fox has already told WCCB (Channel 18) it will move its programming to one of its new stations on July 1.

That leaves WCCB to decide whether it will pick up the CW network from Channel 46 or fill its evening prime time some other way. Of the five broadcast networks, the CW network – whose best-known shows include “America’s Next Top Model” and “Arrow” – draws the lowest ratings. Nationally, its numbers run behind some popular cable shows.

WCCB also loses its lucrative lineup of Fox sports, including NASCAR races and Panthers games.

Read more from the Observer

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