Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Games Take a Hit from Rams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Games Take a Hit from Rams

Article excerpt

If you like watching the National Football League on Sunday afternoons from the comfort of your couch, get ready for a big change this season.

Unless you have a satellite dish, it will cost you about $800 to see the variety of NFL telecasts you have watched in recent years. That price includes the cost of the hardware needed to pick up satellite signals, plus the fee charged for receiving those broadcasts.

The arrival of the St. Louis Rams means changes in what's available on television. The St. Louis market will be inundated by Rams telecasts, often bumping off the dial what non-Rams fans may consider "more attractive" games.

Since the football Cardinals left town after the 1987 season, programmers have been placing the best games on the local airwaves. Programmers and viewers sometimes differed on which games were best, but at least there was flexibility in the schedule.

The Rams will dominate the screen this fall, as KTVI (Channel 2) will show most of their games. League rules require that all road games and all sold-out home contests be televised locally.

Also, fewer games are shown in towns that have NFL teams than in "neutral" markets. On the seven Sunday afternoons when the Rams are home, there will be only two NFL games shown locally - their game (if it's a sellout) and one other. NFL regulations reduce the regular allotment of three telecasts in the "home" market to help protect the local club.

On Sept. 10, when the Rams play at home against New Orleans, that game will be shown in St. Louis instead of the Atlanta-San Francisco or Detroit-Minnesota contests, one of which probably would have been picked had the Rams not moved to town.

Ditto for Sept. 24, when the Rams are at home against Chicago. The Arizona-Dallas game also will be a casualty.

When the Rams are on the road, their games will be one of three games shown here. …

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