CBS might join Victoria Television Group lineup


July 14, 2011 at 2:14 a.m.

A CBS affiliate could soon join the ranks of the Victoria Television Group, and could mean more TV programs for viewers who don't subscribe to cable.

Negotiations are under way to bring the network under the umbrella of the Victoria company, which already owns rights to multiple networks, including ABC, Fox, NBC, Telemundo and Univision.

The deal is not final, a Victoria Television Group representative said Thursday.

Suddenlink Communications' programming department had not yet heard of a new affiliate, said Gene Ragan, Suddenlink's director of corporate communications, Thursday.

The cable company is required by law to have signed consent, Ragan explained, and could go about the deal in two ways.

The cable company could either enter into must-carry status, in which the TV station talks with Suddenlink and decides the cable company must carry the station, he said. Additionally, it could go with a retransmission consent agreement status, where Suddenlink arranges a contract with the TV station.

"As far as I know, we haven't heard anything about a CBS affiliate," he said. "At this point it's too early to really say much."

The switchover would mean advertisers could place local commercials on Victoria's CBS affiliate, instead of the current San Antonio spots that air, said Patrick Guerra, president of The Guerra Group, a Victoria advertising agency. Guerra said he meets with TV station representatives Friday to iron out advertising details.

"We're pretty jazzed about it," he said of the change. "I think it's going to be a real plus."

The only drawback is the lack of competition in the area, Guerra said.

In larger markets, media companies compete for the shared market with competitive pricing. Although Victoria's rates are fair, the cost per thousand remains somewhat high.

"Say there's 100,000 people in the Crossroads viewing area," he said. "In Houston there might be 5 million. That's 50 times the size of Victoria, but rates aren't 50 times as high."

With those calculations, Guerra said a $4,000 spot on Houston's 10 p.m. news should cost about $80 in Victoria. Those rates actually come to about $350, however.

"There's always pluses and minuses," he said of the purchase. "But most of it is good news."

Jeff Pryor, general manager of the Victoria Television Group, was out of the office and unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.



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