Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues See Big Picture, Plan to Carry First Two Rounds on Free TV

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues See Big Picture, Plan to Carry First Two Rounds on Free TV

Article excerpt

Blues fans can take another free television ride through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

All the team's games except one have been scheduled to be shown on over-the-air television, something that has become a custom in recent seasons. The trend was threatened this year because the club has adopted a cable package and also had been contemplating a pay-per-view plan.

The pay-TV idea was dropped two weeks ago and officials of Prime, the club's cable outlet, said Thursday they have decided against showing any of the contests.

Fox (KDNL, Channel 30 locally) has rights to all Sunday afternoon playoff contests, and it almost certainly will show the Blues' games locally as part of its regional package. The St. Louis market has generated the second-best average Nielsen rating for its four weeks of regular-season National Hockey League coverage, 7.3 (approximately 74,000 homes). Only Detroit is better, at 7.4. The Blues-Blackhawks game Sunday drew a 9.5 rating in St. Louis. By contrast, Boston is at 4.4 and Philadelphia at 4.1.

Fox could have up to four Blues games in the first two rounds, providing the team advances that far.

KPLR (Channel 11) now has juggled its Cardinals schedule to carry all but one of the team's games that aren't picked up by Fox in the first two rounds. The following baseball adjustments have been made:

The May 9 game against Chicago has been switched to May 8 against the Cubs.

The May 15 contest against San Diego has been moved to Sept. 7 against the Padres.

The May 19 game against San Francisco has been dropped and a replacement game is yet to be scheduled.

That leaves one conflict on Channel 11's schedule - the baseball game May 23 against Atlanta. The Blues would be playing Game 2 of the second round that night.

"We're still working on that date," Blues President Jack Quinn said Thursday. …

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