WBZ-TV and TV38 announced today that they have acquired the broadcast rights to New England Patriots non-network preseason games, along with the All Access and Totally Patriots TV shows.

This takes the games and programs away from WCVB Channel 5, where they had been shown for many years. It also essentially makes WBZ-TV the TV home of the Patriots, with the Pre and Post game rights, and being a CBS affiliate, they have most of the regular season games, and now the preseason as well as the weekly All Access program.

A couple of assumptions by me now, (which I’m attempting to follow up on): One, in the past when regular season Patriots games would be shown on cable (ESPN or NFLN), they would be broadcast locally on WCVB. I wonder if this now means these games will be on WBZ instead. Second, I assume this also bring to an end the broadcast of the Patriots preseason games up here on NH’s WMUR Channel 9, which is a sister station to WCVB.

(Update: Damn assumptions. Here’s what I’m told via the Patriots:  “The cable networks (ESPN or NFLN) own the rights to their broadcasts in the local markets. After the schedule is announced, the networks then negotiate with the local affiliates for the rights to syndicate their broadcast in that local market. Historically, ESPN games have aired on WCVB (ABC). We have only had a couple of games on NFLN, but I think those games have been open for negotiation with each of the local affiliates.”)

In any event, here’s the full release:



Boston, Mass. – Wednesday, January 21, 2009 – WBZ-TV and TV38 (WSBK-TV) today announced that the stations have entered into an exclusive television rights agreement with the New England Patriots and Kraft Sports Productions to broadcast “Patriots All Access,” “Totally Patriots,” and any non-network preseason Patriots games. The partnership is effective immediately.

“Patriots All Access,” winner of the 2007 New England Emmy Award for Best Sports Series, will air on WBZ-TV Fridays at 7 p.m. and on TV38 Sundays at 9 a.m. The program features exclusive, behind-the-scenes access and in-depth weekly stories on Patriots players and personnel. The show features weekly sit-downs with Head Coach Bill Belichick including the popular “Belestrator” segment where the coach breaks down upcoming opponents.

“Totally Patriots,” a weekly youth-oriented football show, will air on TV38 Sundays at 10 a.m. “Totally Patriots” gives the next generation of Patriots fans unprecedented access to their favorite players, enabling them to ask questions in a relaxed, informal setting. The program also includes football tips from Patriots players as well as the opportunity to win college scholarships by writing weekly essays about the Patriots.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand our existing partnership with The Kraft Sports Group,” said Ed Piette, President and General Manager of WBZ-TV and TV38. “This new programming agreement compliments our award-winning CBS coverage of the New England Patriots and the entire AFC.”

“We are happy to expand on what has been a successful, long-term working partnership with WBZ-TV and TV38,” said Murray Kohl, Patriots vice president of sales. “There is an incredible demand for Patriots content and WBZ will lead the market with an impressive lineup of Patriots programming. It’s a great complement to the many regular season Patriots games broadcast by CBS and available on WBZ-TV.”

Here’s the full slate of Patriots programming on WBZ-TV and TV38 during the 2009 season:

Name of Program Station and Time:
“Patriots All Access”Regular Season WBZ-TV – Friday, 7 – 8 p.m.TV38 – Sunday, 9 – 10 a.m.
“Patriots All Access” Pre Season and Playoffs WBZ-TV – Friday, 7 – 7:30 p.m.TV38 – Sunday, 9 – 9:30 a.m.
“Totally Patriots” TV38 – Sunday, 10 – 10:30 a.m.
“New England Patriots 5th Quarter Presented by New England Ford Dealers and Sovereign Bank” Immediately following all New England Patriots games. Station and time TBD depending on network and/or competitive programming.
“New England Ford Patriots Game Day WBZ-TV – Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – Noon
“Patriots This Week” TV38 – Saturday, 10 – 10:30 p.m.
Pre-season Patriots games Games TBD
Regular Season Patriots games TBD
“New England Ford Dealers Sports Final” WBZ-TV – Sunday, 11:30 p.m. – Midnight all year long

Boston’s WBZ-TV and TV38 are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

– WBZ-TV / TV38 –


19 thoughts on “WCVB Loses Patriots “All Access” and Preseason Games To WBZ

  1. I would think wcvb would still air monday night football games since abc owns espn and cvb is an abc affiliate


    1. That could be, though I think the NFLN game this season was shown on WCVB as well. I thought it might be part of this package. I’ve got a request in to find out the answer to this, so I’ll post an update when I know for sure.


  2. Monday Night Football games are offered to ABC affiliates first and if they don’t take them, then ESPN is allowed let local stations bid for the games. I would think WCVB would continue to take the MNF games.

    NFL Network can offer games to any station.


  3. I assume the host of All-Access switches from Mike Lynch to Steve Burton. I am not sure if Bill will have the same rapport with the CBS guys like he did with Lynch.


  4. Too bad for Channel 5, they had a nice thing going with the Patriots. I’ll be deleting All Access from my Tivo Season Pass. I can’t stand Steve Burton.


  5. I agree, it’s a tragedy that Burton will be replacing Lynch on those programs. I’m holding out slim hope that ‘BZ brings back Bob Lobel as a freelancer strictly to host the ‘All Access’ show. How about even Alice Cook as an option? She’d probably be great in a role like that.

    Has anyone heard Burton’s extremely weak attempt at a signoff catchphrase? “Seeeeeeeeeya later” (groan).


  6. If they don’t want to hire the Phantom boys, I think Roche gets this gig. He does a good job on the Red Sox shows.


  7. I agree that Roche might be good in this role.

    The problem is more Burton means more DeOssie and Zolak – which is just painful.

    Lets hope they don’t screw this up the way they screwed up the radio pre/post game show on ‘Bcn.



  8. I think Channel 5 would probably pass on NFLN games b/c they probably wouldn’t see the need to pay for something if they don’t have the Patriots package. They probably could sell to defray costs of the NFLN games.

    I thought that ESPN made them take those awful Big East football and basketball games in order for them to get first dibs on the Monday night games.


  9. This is a tough blow to Lynchie, who is bored stiff at WCVB. PAA was the only thing he got juiced for.

    Now he officially has the easiest job in Boston sports.


  10. 5’s parent company also owns the 20% of ESPN that Disney does not, hence the connection (and the placement of the Big East package, which made a lot more sense before BC moved).

    Word on the street is that there isn’t a lot of love for Burton at Patriot Place. I’m willing to bet that after his introduction to the show this year, Scott Zolak stays with the Krafts as the next host of All Access and probably gets a radio spot when Gil and Gino finally retire.


  11. It is a blow for Lynch..he was good on that..but I have had my differences with him. A college ref..a bit too pompous..at teh very end of the Celts victory parade he went on a bit about the Patriots and why they lost the suprt Bowl..which was interesting since he never uttered any of THOSE opiions before..I’m not a large Burton fan..but I am glad they got away from ESPN..even if it’s a small monetary sense..


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