Fort Wayne TV station pulls plug on Colts

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How bad are the Indianapolis Colts?  So bad that a FOX affiliate in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with only two opportunities at most per year to televise Colts games given the manner in which Sunday games are divvied up between the networks, opted to pass on Sunday’s game between the Panthers and Colts.

Per Justin Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the local FOX affiliated opted to televise the 4:05 p.m. ET game between the Bears and Raiders instead of the 1:00 p.m. ET Colts home game.

Since it was a CBS doubleheader weekend, FOX channels had to choose between an early game or a late one.

League spokesman Dan Masonson told the Journal Gazette that the decision complies with league rules.  Since Fort Wayne is a “secondary market” for the Colts, it’s required only to televise Indianapolis road games.  And since any Sunday afternoon Indianapolis road games would always be televised by CBS, the FOX affiliate never will have its hands tied that way.

Making the decision even more curious is the fact that the game represented perhaps the Colts’ last, best chance to win a game this year.

Station president and G.M. Jerry Giesler told the Journal Gazette that the affiliate was flooded with calls.  “It would be crazy for me to try to say we got more in support of [our decision] than there were against us,” Giesler said.  “But we’re broadcasters.  Our signal heads west toward Chicago and there were a lot of people who loved what we did as well as a lot of people within the city limits who did too.”

If the Colts had been set to host a team that would have blown them out, the decision would have made more sense.  With the Colts playing a team that struggles on the road, the Indy game could have carried a larger audience deeper into the contest.

It seems like the decision was more about making a public statement about the state of the franchise.  That’s fine, but it did a disservice to the bulk of the Indiana-based audience.

36 responses to “Fort Wayne TV station pulls plug on Colts

  1. Since it seems clear the Colts have been trying to purposefully lose, once they’ve locked up the #1 pick I’d think they might actually allow their players to try to win a game, just to salvage some pride of avoiding 0-16.

    They might actually surprise a team before now and the end of the season once they’ve secured last place.

  2. Most of Northern Indiana is more Bear’s country, not Colts. You could see it during the Super Bowl game a few years back. It is just the big retailers that send all of the Colts gear because it is Indiana, but most of it sits there while the Bears gear sells out.
    So while I am sure there were a lot of people who wanted to see the Colts, there were probably more people who were happy to see the Bears. No disservice to the bulk of the audience.
    Plus, most Colts fans I know said they can’t even watch them anymore, they are so bad.

  3. Finally some common sense!

    In our neck of the world we are forced to watch EVERY Redskins Game due to big money contracts.

    They even pre-empt the end of other games so they can bring the “entire game uninterrupted”

  4. Fort Wayne was a Bears town long before the Colts moved to Indy. Still plenty of Bears fans there.

  5. You’d have to be a masochist if you actually enjoying sitting through three hours of Colts football. I can barely stand to sit through my Eagles games anymore.

  6. It seems like the decision was more about making a public statement about the state of the franchise. That’s fine, but it did a disservice to the bulk of the Indiana-based audience.
    What a dim-witted take this is. What benefit would a local affiliate derive from making such a statement about the “home” team? The GM made the call solely because he thought the Bears game delivered more value to advertisers. Period. Now whether he is right or wrong may be debatable. I happen to agree with the decision since the Bears are so close. After all the Colts re virtually unwatchable. I’m a Falcons fan living in ATL and there were many a years when I stopped watching their games late in the season.

  7. I grew up in Northern Indiana, and let me tell you, that is much more Bears country than Colts country, and the local FOX stations would usually show the Bears game if they had to choose one or the other. There are a lot of Colt fans too, don’t get me wrong, but don’t blame the FOX station for showing the Bears over the Colts, especially since the Bears-Raiders game featured two teams with playoff hopes.

  8. I doubt the station would sacrifice ratings to make a “statement” about the quality of the football team. People dont know they stink this year?

    I for one would rather see two good teams play, rather then watch “my team” play a meaningless game.
    Think that might be why PFT is always able to harp on this “black-out issue?” More people would rather watch good football over their favorite team. Of course all would perfer thwn their team can provide both.

  9. Interesting that you don’t mention that the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis has turned downed the opportunity to televise your beloved Vikings this weekend against the Broncos.

  10. Why do people think the Colts aren’t “trying” to win? Because they didn’t sign Orton? What sense would it make to sign and pay a guy $2.75 million (after they already paid Collins $4 million)and Orton would essentially take an additional 2 or 3 weeks before he could actually play? So that in week 15 they can pay Orton $2 million to suck like he did in Denver?

    Every year there is a team or two that flirt with 0-16… this year it’s the Colts.

    Any surprise considering they’ve been putrid at running the ball, run defense, run offense, pass defense, coaching, tackling, and special teams for years now. The only difference is now you throw in pass offense as another area that stinks and you’re well on your way to 0-16 even when you’re trying. Manning was the Colts… now that he’s gone they’re exposed as a joke.

  11. as a bears fan it was a great decsion. before the colts moved to the state Ft. Wayne was a bears town. I and many others did not abandon our loyalties simply because the colts got manning and became winners. the cbs station station in town covers the colts and there have been times when bears fans have not been able to see games for the same reason. channel 55 made the right choice, GO BEARS!

  12. No one needs a beat down turned into a snuff film; good call. Thinking the colts had a chance against Cam and those 2 RB’s isn’t such an insightful a thought.

  13. Fair weather fans: One bad season in 10 years and you bail out –

    For the Colts to get any attention from those horrible fans they have to go to the playoffs EVERY YEAR.

    That team should be moved.

  14. Lions fans can relate to the woes of Colts fans this year. The difference is that the Colts have been winners and will be again.

  15. Colts quit weeks ago-FO proved that by not claiming Orton who sucks much much less than any QB currently in an Indy uniform. Shouldn’t the TV station broadcast two teams that aren’t intentionally sucking for Luck instead of the garbage the Colts are trying to pass off as football? As a Seahahk fan, I’m familiar with garbage football and the Colts are garbage.

  16. marvsleezy says: Fair weather fans: One bad season in 10 years and you bail out

    In defense of Colts fans (can’t believe I’m writing those words) when your team is purposefully trying to lose – and isn’t doing a good job of hiding it, boycotting games and refusing to subject viewers to such pain is the best thing they all can do.

  17. Amazing.
    Just a couple of years ago it was, should the Colts go for an undefeated season or rest their starters.

    Today it’s should the Colts try to go winless and guarantee themselves the #1 pick in the draft?

    The fall from grace for the Colts is monumental. I simply cannot believe or accept that not having Peyton Manning at QB has destroyed the Colts to this degree.
    Terrible coaching and no heart from the players is what happened in Indy.

  18. badtimeoutcaldwell says:
    Nov 28, 2011 12:47 PM

    Every year there is a team or two that flirt with 0-16… this year it’s the Colts.
    That’s true, but it’s usually teams that have been bad for several years; not a team that was 10-6 and in the playoffs the prior year. And the time to get a QB, and not an old retread one, was before the season started.

    I hope Luck stays in school.

  19. People here don’t seem to realize that there are just as many Bears fans in these parts of Indiana as there are Colts fans, if not more Bears fans.

    They might have shown the Bears by choice no matter what. Almost everyone I know from Indiana are Bears fans.

  20. at badtimeoutcaldwell,

    whether they are tanking or not, i do not know. i would like to believe that professional football players do not go out on the field week in and week out and try to lose purposely.

    However, its a very strange coincidence that the colts will have the 1st overall pick in the year in which 4 of the most highly touted qb prospects were coming out

    john elway, jeff george, peyton manning, now andrew luck. coincidence?maybe. lucky? extremely, despite the fact that elway snubbed them, george was a bust.

  21. humbleminded85 says: Nov 28, 2011 12:27 PM

    Thats bad but still not as pathetic as some of these franchise’s who frequently “blackout” in their own hometown (Oak, Cincy, Jville, ect)


    I’d just like to point out for the sake of fairness and accuracy, that Jacksonville, despite having a lousy team, has not had a blackout since 2009.

  22. Regarding Oakland, do your research before you throw out nonsense. Oakland has sold out all six home games this year and very likely will sell out the remaining two. Pretty amazing for a team with a season ticket base in the below 30K range from 7 plus years of rancid teams. Have there been blackouts in the past? Of course, most teams would have blackouts from seven years of losing, but the team is back and so are the fans (one of the most passionate and loyal in the league).

    Also, not to be forgotten, is the fact that several years ago the Raiders started selling their own tickets again instead of leaving it to Alameda County. It was a mistake to outsource the ticket selling function.

    Lastly, let’s forget about blackouts for a moment and talk about no shows. It’s amazing how some of these supposed great fan bases (i.e., Steelers, Jets, Browns) don’t even bother to show up for the games. Directv is a great thing not only for watching a lot of football, but it’s great for research too. Gotta love all those empty club seats and lower bowl seats this weekend at MetLife Stadium!

  23. Northern Indiana is Bears Country, plain and simple. Heck parts of Michigan are Bears country, Kalamazoo is closer to Chicago than it is to Detroit.

    I’ve never understood the lunacy of “this team is in my state so those are the games I should show,” even when a place is closer to a large media market in the next state over. Rooting interests in the Midwest are more like Swiss Cheese than a block of cheddar. People in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are all Packers fans. The middle of Illinois contains Bears, Rams, and Colts fans. There are Steeler fans in Ohio etc etc, and Toledo is a Lions town.

    Broadcasters in New York do not understand regional coverage, and owners continually “make up” secondary markets where none exist.

  24. Since I’m from the area surrounding fort wayne and grew up watching the colts there… no, they didn’t do a disservice to anyone. Fort Wayne is basically the same distance from Indy as it is to Chicago (perhaps closer if you count the “region” that includes all of the northwest indiana cities that are just suburbs of Chicago.)

    I live in Indy now and I couldn’t even force myself to watch the entire game. Watching us struggle against the Panthers when we should be in a playoff race? I can only take so much terrible football in one sitting.

  25. Luck is a senior to the dolt who said he should stay in school.

    And of course the Raiders and Bears should have been on, who the hell would want to watch the Colts anyways! Haha Manning is done and the Colts can go back to where they were once before, for a very long time… under a rock.

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