WRTV Drops Local Sports Net For Grit Diginet

Scripps-owned ABC affiliate WRTV Indianapolis (DMA 27) is canceling its Hometown Sports & News (HTSN) network on digital ch. 6.2 and is replacing it with Grit, a multicast network from Katz Broadcasting, effective Oct. 1.

For five years, HTSN provided local sports to over-the-air audiences and viewers watching on Comcast and Brighthouse cable systems. Grit will deliver programming with a heavy focus on westerns, war and action movies.

”We have taken great pride in delivering this local programming,” said Larry Blackerby, WRTV VP-GM. “We’ve watched the Indianapolis Indians dominate the minor leagues and our Indy Fuel skate hard on the ice. Parents who couldn’t make it to Friday night high school football or basketball games could tune in on our digital channel to watch the action unfold from the comfort of their home. It was wonderful to be the only station in town providing so much local sports, but the cost of this programming is too great. The choice to switch to Grit is strictly a local business decision.”

The station said it will continue to deliver local sports coverage in its newscasts, on and on its mobile apps.

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Veronica Serrano Padilla says:

June 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Bait and switch… no doubt the only way WRTV got cable coverage of this sub channel was because cable was interested in having local sports on. Once that was established and WRTV knew they had another free channel on cable, the bait and switch took place… the only “local business decision” is that Katz is probably paying to have Grit on the sub channel… so much for TV stations providing local programming…

    Andrea Rader says:

    June 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Big 4 affils generally have no trouble getting their diginets onto local cable systems, so you argument carries no weight. And why should a commercial TV station continue carrying programming that isn’t making them money?

    Kristina Veltri says:

    October 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    For ten years? Yeah, that isn’t the reason it declined. It was a corporate mandate to carry Grit and unfortunately WRTV couldn’t convince Scripps the local investment was worth it, sadly. They’ll still make money on the irrelevant old westerns nobody watches and catheter ad marathons, but they’re in a rock/hard place situation.