For the only time this season, KUCW-Channel 30 will tape-delay a Real Salt Lake game on Saturday.
Not because station management wants to, but because it has been forced into this situation by circumstances out of their control. Here’s a quick run-down on what’s happening and why:
• The RSL-at-Toronto game will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. MDT. But that’s the last hour of The CW’s children’s television block, so the game will air at noon.
• The FCC mandates that stations air at least three hours of educational television for children each week in order for the FCC to have their license renewed. That three-hour CW block fulfills Channel 30’s requirement.
• While the three hours of programming airs on The CW, it doesn’t actually belong to The CW. The network sold the time to Saban, which produces the programs and sells the advertising.
• And that’s a huge sticking point in this whole thing. The CW has allowed Channel 30 to delay prime-time programming so that RSL games can air live, but Saban controls the Saturday-morning block of programming isn’t willing to let Channel 30 move its shows.
“That is why we are stuck with the delay,” said Richard Doutre Jones, vice president and general manager of KUCW and KTVX. “We don’t want to delay, but we have no place to put these kids programs.”
And the game couldn’t just switch to KTVX-Channel 4 because ABC is airing the X Games Saturday at 11 a.m.
It’s a frustrating situation. And, given that the two “educational” shows that air from 11 a.m.-noon on Channel 30 are “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and “Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL,” it’s even more frustrating. And hard to believe.
The good news, again, is that this is the only delay on RSL’s TV schedule this season.