Milwaukee Bucks Add Two Over-the-Air TV Partners


On January 29, RBR+TVBR first reported on an arrangement precipitated by Diamond Sports Group’s bankruptcy restructuring process that will bring play-by-play for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to an over-the-air station in Milwaukee for the first time in 17 years.

Now, deals are in place to ensure viewers in Madison, Wisc., and the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois have access to the telecasts.

Ten Milwaukee Bucks telecasts are being moved from Bally Sports Wisconsin to Weigel Broadcasting-owned WMLW “The M,” which airs on Channel 49.

But, that station only covers the Milwaukee DMA. As such, to bring the Bucks to their viewers in the Quad Cities, Weigel struck a deal with TEGNA-owned WQAD-TV. The coverage will appear on its HD3 signal.

WQAD 8.3 through its free, HD over-the-air broadcasts and through the channel’s distribution with cable services.

“We’re thrilled to make these Bucks games available to every fan, and every household, in the Quad Cities,” WQAD President/GM Jim Kizer said.

TEGNA SVP/Media Operations Brad Ramsey added, “We’re grateful for the trust of the Milwaukee Bucks and Weigel Broadcasting. This is an exciting moment in sports, and we’re pleased to strike additional agreements to offer more games to more fans in more homes.”

In Madison, the state capital, it is Morgan Murphy Media-owned WISC-3 and its DT2 “TW” that will serve as that market’s home for the Bucks.

Coverage tied to this package of team games starts February 23.

Morgan Murphy Media VP/GM Lyle Banks said, “For the first time in many years, Milwaukee Bucks games will be available, free and over-the-air, to the viewers of Southwestern Wisconsin and WISC-TV is proud to be the home of them.”

Weigel EVP Evan Fieldman added that the company “is elated to help bring Bucks basketball games to viewers on broadcast television, an accessible and affordable option for all sports fans.”

With much focus this week on a proposed subscription-based video-on-demand sports-centric platform co-owned by The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation and Warner Bros. Discovery, how Bucks team president Peter Feigin views the Weigel deal speaks loudly about broadcast TV’s role in bringing pro sports to viewers.

“We’re thrilled to reach Bucks fans on broadcast television stations,” Feigin said. “Over-the-air is an easy and affordable way for Bucks fans to watch our games, and we’re excited to work with Weigel and broadcasters like TEGNA to make them widely available.”

As previously announced, Gray Television stations in Green Bay, Eau Claire and Wausau will air the Bucks games originating from “The M.”

The Bucks will utilize their TV broadcast team of Lisa Byington, Marques Johnson and Steve Novak, with Melanie Ricks reporting from the sidelines for these 10 games.


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