WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon
I received several emails and some angry calls from viewers on Sunday expressing their unhappiness because the Cleveland Browns football game was not televised on WTOL. Let me explain: The CBS Network and the FOX Network have multi-year contracts with the NFL.
CBS carries weekly AFC games and FOX carries weekly NFC games. WTOL 11 is and always has been, a CBS affiliate. When the Cleveland Browns are the AFC game and the game is being televised by CBS, WTOL will show the game. However, this past weekend, the Cleveland Browns/ Philadelphia Eagles game was an NFC game. That means it was televised by FOX. Remember, WTOL 11 never has access to the FOX network feed. The Toledo television market is considered the NFL home market for the Detroit Lions when it is an NFC feed. So, when the Browns and the Lions are both on at the same time, as NFC games, WUPW Fox Toledo is obligated to carry the Detroit Lions game. That is what happened this weekend.
To summarize, when the Browns game is on CBS, WTOL 11 will televise it in the Toledo market. I do understand the frustration of Browns fans. But these decisions are based on specific rules embedded in the CBS and FOX network NFL contracts, not the personal whim of a television station general manager. Yelling at me and calling me creative names, won't change a thing. Hope that helps.