NBA basketball is coming to broadcast in the Quad Cities, where WQAD will be airing 10 Milwaukee Bucks games this season.
Tegna, which owns the station, said the games were made available for local over-the-air distribution as part of the NBA’s agreement with Diamond Sports Group, the bankrupt owner Bally Sports Wisconsin, which televises most of the team’s games.
Tegna is working with Weigel Broadcasting, whose WMLW airs a package of Bucks games in Milwaukee.
With cord-cutting eroding viewership at regional sports networks, broadcast stations are making deals to air more local sports.
Broadcasters are attractive to teams and sports leagues because they can potentially reach many more viewers than cable channels alone.
“We’re thrilled to reach Bucks fans on broadcast television stations,” said Peter Feigin, president of the Bucks and Fiserv Forum. “Over-the-air is an easy and affordable way for Bucks fans to watch our games, and we’re excited to work with Weigel and broadcasters like Tegna to make them widely available.”
WQAD said the Bucks games will air on digital channel 8.3 and reach nearly 240,000 homes in the Quad Cities area over the air and through the channels distribution through pay TV services.
“We’re thrilled to make these Bucks games available to every fan, and every household, in the Quad Cities,” said Jim Kizer, president and general manager, at WQAD.
The first game to air on WQAD will match the Bucks against the Minnesota Timberwolves on February 23.
The Bucks’ TV broadcast team of Lisa Byington, Marques Johnson, Steve Novak and Melanie Ricks will be the announcers.
“Weigel is elated to help bring Bucks basketball games to viewers on broadcast television, an accessible and affordable option for all sports fans,” said Evan Fieldman, executive VP of Weigel.
The Quad Cities market includes Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in northwestern Illinois.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.