Regardless of the success of other teams in town, the Cleveland Browns will always be the kings of the Northeast Ohio sports scene. Fans gobble up every bit of Browns news, and the start of training camp and the preseason puts dawg pound dwellers in a frenzy. Channel 3 WKYC in Cleveland broadcasts the preseason games each August, but according to Tony Grossi, they've had to unload the first game to their competitor and rival WOIO Channel 19. The Olympics, which are the prize of NBC Sports, conflict with the first game and forced Channel 3's hand. Unfortunately, that's also the highest-rated preseason game. Via Tony Grossi at ESPNCleveland.com:
WKYC, which is contractually obligated to produce the broadcast, had to offer the game to a competing station. It worked out an agreement to air it on WOIO Channel 19.
Now, the first preseason game historically draws the biggest audience because fans are so eager to get their first look at the new Browns team. The kicker to WKYC is that the Browns exhibition game on Channel 19 likely will dwarf the ratings garnered by the Olympics on that night.
As many are aware, the Browns and WOIO have their own complicated past.