For all of Seattle’s talk of the importance of the 12th man in the Seahawks Super Bowl win, only one man, or station, was allowed to cover the entire Seahawks victory event yesterday.
The celebration started out with a parade, which all the stations covered live. But as soon as the parade entered CenturyLink Field around 2:00 p.m., only FOX affiliate KCPQ stayed in live coverage.
According to KCPQ GM Pam Pearson all the other Seattle stations were welcome to cover the rally “but only the partners were allowed to broadcast it LIVE.” And by “partners” Pearson meant the Tribune owned FOX affiliate.
KOMO news director Holly Gauntt told TVSpy the ABC affiliate was getting calls from puzzled viewers when it broke away shortly before 2:00 p.m. Bob Jordan, news director CBS affiliate KIRO said several viewers asked why the station was ending its coverage of the celebration early.
Even the Governor’s office got involved. Jaime Smith, director of media relations for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, told TVSpy Inslee’s office reached out to the Seahawks because they wanted as many people as possible to watch the celebration. But in the end she said they left it up to the Seahawks to decide.
But one commenter wasn’t feeling so magnanimous, writing on KIRO’s facebook page, “WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LIVE COVERAGE!!! NOBODY WANTS TO SEE RACHAEL RAY!!! PUT THE LIVE COVERAGE ON! THIS IS HISTORY FOR US 12′S WHO WERE NOT ABLE TO MAKE IT DOWNTOWN!!! PLEASE!!!”
KIRO’s Bob Jordan told TVSpy, “While we think the Seahawks would have been better served by allowing equal access to all local stations. KIRO7 provided more than four hours of live coverage of the parade through downtown Seattle.”
Pearson explained, “Q13 FOX along with KIRO Radio (a Bonneville station) are the OFFICIAL local TV and radio media partners of the Seattle Seahawks by virtue of multi-year partnership deals. Our deal –similar to other NFL teams’ deals with local stations–provides us the rights to air the pre-season games and collaborate with the Seahawks to produce a weekly team show during the football season. The Seahawks organization treated this rally inside the field as a SEAHAWKS event which is why only their partners were allowed to broadcast it live.”