MCA: Touchdown For ‘Coach’

A month into the national rollout of the off-network sitcom “Coach,” MCA has ticked off station clearances in all the top 10 markets except Boston, where it is expected to be pitched this week. It also has clinched several station group deals in middle-sized markets.

In all, MCA has made agreements in markets representing about 40% of the country.

In addition to initial deals with Tribune’s indies in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and Cox stations in San Francisco and Detroit, MCA has notched pacts with five Paramount-owned indies, five Chase Communications indies, two Renaissance and two River City stations, and the ABC affil in San Antonio, KSAT. Markets and stations covered in the group deals include WTFX Philadelphia; WDCA Washington, D.C.; KTXA Dallas; KTXH Houston; WATL Atlanta; KDNL St. Louis; and KTXL Sacramento.

It’s likely that most of these stations will air the show in access and that at least some will double-run it in late fringe. It’s unknown how many will debut it in ’93 (the year before the two barter 30-second spots kick in) or wait until September ’94.

Although most sources say the current crop of off-net sitcoms will find it difficult to reach the $1-million-an-episode benchmark, MCA TV prexy Shelly Schwab says that prices for “Coach” are “competitive and in some cases exceed those for other heavyweight contenders like ‘Murphy Brown’ and ‘Roseanne.'”

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