Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WJXT Is Ready for Some Football

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

WJXT Is Ready for Some Football

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

WJXT TV-4 uses the moniker "the local station." Now it will televise the local NFL team's game Monday night.

WJXT will carry ESPN's telecast of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Jaguars contest, complete with all commercials and promos and absent of any hype of watching TV-4. While the station had to pay ESPN for the right to carry the game and can't recoup any of those costs by selling local advertising, there are benefits to the deal, according to WJXT sports director Sam Kouvaris.

"It doesn't have to be an economic home run for us," Kouvaris said. "If it makes sense for us to carry this game and the [Jaguars-]Giants game later in the season [also a Monday night ESPN game], then we'll do it. We call ourselves the local station, and we're bringing the local team to the fans. There's a lot of work involved in doing these games, but it's also a lot of fun. I really enjoy it."

WJXT will begin its coverage at 5 p.m., with the Jaguars as the main theme of the two-hour newcast. At 7 p.m., the station will air a special segment of The End Zone, normally seen at that time each Monday during the football season. The show, which has bested THE Jaguars Show (seen on WTEV TV-47 at the same time) by a 2-1 margin the first two weeks that both shows aired, has paid the NFL an additional fee for the right to show Jaguars highlights. All stations must pay the NFL for the right to show highlights outside of a normal news-show window.

At 7:30, all WJXT reporters must depart Alltel Stadium -- another NFL stipulation. TV-4 has designed a set that will be used at The Fairground area adjacent to the stadium.

Kouvaris and weekend sports anchor Sean Woodland headline WJXT's pre-game coverage, with news anchors Tom Wills and Mary Baer among several reporters contributing various reports.

"We look at this as a continuation of the excellence we've done in the past," Kouvaris said. "We'll have a number of interesting features and guests as part of our overall coverage. …

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