Paramount and Chris-Craft have captured two more independents in the top-50 markets to serve as affiliates in their jointly owned and operated fifth weblet.
KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City and KOCB-TV in Oklahoma City are now on board the Par Network, leaving the rival WB Network backed by Warner Bros. with no viable alternatives in those markets.
The only other choice in Salt Lake City is KOOG, a low-power home shopping station, while in the Oklahoma market the remaining indie is the low-power religious station KSBI.
The winner in the fifth network race will need to capture the 30th-80th single-indie markets.
So far, Par is the only one of the two competing program services to sign stations in markets where indies have a choice — including such critical locales as Chicago and Cleveland — giving that studio the momentum in the network battle.
But WB, which pulled an about-face this week by adopting Par’s syndication-like approach to forming the network (Daily Variety, Nov. 16), still maintains a slight coverage lead in the top-50 markets.
WB has a total of 17 stations covering more than 37% of the country, while Par/Chris-Craft, with the two new affils, is at 15 stations representing about 35% coverage.