WRC Becomes Official Washington Redskins Station, Will Broadcast Preseason Games

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WRC (Channel 4) landed TV rights to Washington Redskins preseason games yesterday, replacing WUSA (Channel 9) as the team's official broadcast station.

Under the three-year agreement, WRC will televise exhibition games and produce pre- and postgame segments. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The station will also air a series of weekly feature programs about the team, expanding the slate of shows on local stations that are produced with the team's cooperation and editorial approval. WRC said its new Redskins shows will air Saturday and Sunday mornings, and after "Saturday Night Live" during the season.

For the first time in almost 30 years, George Michael won't be part of WRC's Redskins coverage. Michael, the station's lead sportscaster for 27 years, severed his relationship with NBC-owned WRC in December after the station proposed cutting the budget of the two weekly programs he created and produced, "Redskins Report" and "Full Court Press." Michael also hosted weekly interview segments with Redskins coaches Jim Zorn and Joe Bugel on the station's 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

WRC said most of the hosting duties on the Redskins programs will be handled by its sports anchors, Lindsay Czarniak and Dan Hellie.

The agreement also permits WRC to describe itself as the "Official Broadcast Station of the Washington Redskins" in promotions. The team already has an agreement with local cable station Comcast SportsNet that enables Comcast to call itself the "Official Sports Network" of the Redskins.

-- Paul Farhi

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