WTSP-Ch. 10 gets Tampa Bay Buccaneers to help move Wednesday's game for Paul Ryan RNC speech
St. Petersburg CBS station WTSP-Ch. 10 now will likely show GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, thanks to a decision by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins to move a football game.
Originally, the station planned to air Ryan's speech on its digital channel 10.2 and on the main channel after 1:30 a.m., at the end of their broadcast day. But a station official said they asked the teams to move up the game by a half-hour after realizing that other NFL teams were also moving up games to avoid conflicting with Ryan's speech.
"Especially in Tampa and Washington D.C., this is an important convention," said Ken Tonning, general manager of WTSP, where the station has added two hours of coverage every day during the week of the convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum except on Wednesday. "
It's our obligation to make sure we're able to serve the community."
Tonning said the station would also drop its pre-game and postgame shows, increasing the chance that the game will end in time for WTSP to carry CBS's planned hour of RNC coverage at 10 p.m. Even if the game runs long, Tonning said, WTSP will move the game to its 10.2 digital channel and begin broadcasting CBS to carry Ryan's acceptance speech at 10:30 p.m.
The move shows that broadcasters still can be pushed to carry notable convention programming, even as others argue that continuous broadcasts on cable TV and online make such attention less necessary.
The big question left: Will NBC, which currently plans to drop coverage of the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 5 for a football game, also feel pressure to change their plans?