Whether or not the 49ers win their sixth Super Bowl this Sunday, there’s already one winner here in the Bay Area. That’s KPIX channel 5 which will broadcast CBS’ telecast around here, and no doubt have somewhere upwards of 70% of available TV viewers tuning in.
It’s kind of like winning the lottery. Three networks, CBS, Fox, and NBC, rotate coverage of the NFL’s championship contest, and this year, the year the 49ers return after an 18-year absence, it’s CBS’ turn. Therefore our CBS-owned station will have virtually every home, bar, restaurant, and everywhere there’s a TV locked onto its signal.
In many ways, it seems fair. During the team’s glory days in the 80s and early 90s, CBS had the NFC contract, and so KPIX aired most 49ers games. It was a sad day at 855 Battery when Fox took over the rights to air NFC contests in 1995, and most 49ers game went over to KTVU.
It seems like the folks running PIX never got over the loss. Channel 5 continued to air preseason matchups and Monday Night contest that are brokered to local stations, and still does to this day. And whenever the 49ers host an AFC squad on Sunday afternoon, once or twice a season, CBS and PIX get those too.
But since CBS has the AFC contract, PIX has become primarily the Raiders outlet, while KTVU airs most 49ers games. The fact that channel 5 goes out of its way to be associated with the 49ers demonstrates how much it misses being the team’s primary channel.
And now for PIX, it’s a dream come true, a chance to air this once-great franchise’s return to the top spot in the league.
But because CBS’ Super Bowl-related programming takes up almost the entire day, PIX is unable to produce a local pregame show. It will however have a post-game telecast, though you’ll have to wait till about 8:30 p.m., over an hour after the game ends, to see it. And for some reason, it’ll originate from the deck of the new Eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Since we can’t drive over it yet, maybe hosting TV programs gives it some usefulness while we await its opening.
Meanwhile, other local broadcasters have noted PIX’s scheduling dilemma and have decided to fill in. CSN Bay Area will have a locally-produced pregame show at 2 p.m. and go post-game starting at 6:30. KTVU, the aforementioned primary broadcaster for the 49ers, has a postgame affair at 7 p.m.
Unfortunately the game will most likely not be over when they both sign on, and they’re not allowed to show highlights until the contest ends and a champion is crowned, so look for a lot of awkward stretching.
KNTV channel 11 has smartly decide to wait till 7:30 to offer up its postgame telecast when it knows the game is likely to be ended.
Now all three of these outlets have to do is send out telepathic waves to anyone with a remote to get them to change the channel.
They also have to hope that the 49ers win, giving viewers the desire to relive every moment of the game. Because if they lose, those are gonna be some mighty gloomy postgame shows.
Obviously, PIX is keeping its fingers crossed for a 49ers victory for its Bay Bridge bash. But win or lose, channel 5 has already been declared Sunday’s ratings winner.
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