WBRZ's owner reaches deal with Reelz to show Miss USA in BR
BATON ROUGE - Sunday's Miss USA pageant will be televised by the Manship family station group on WBTR TV, a sister station of WBRZ TV.
The announcement came during Wednesday's 5pm newscast on WBRZ where the owner of Reelz Channel aid the two companies worked together to secure the broadcast for a local audience. After NBC and Univision dropped the telecast from its schedule because of controversial comments pageant owner Donald Trump made about illegal immigrants, the pageant was not going to be shown locally. Cox and Eatel do not carry Reelz Channel, a high-tier cable network owned by the Hubbard family of St. Paul, Minnesota.
"This is about providing the pageant to Baton Rouge and showcasing the hard work the contestants have put in while visiting our great community," WBRZ General Manager Rocky Daboval said. "Our decision does not involve Trump and his politically-motivated comments. No one can argue, Louisianans are the most welcoming people in this country, and we're proud to be able to show that off this Sunday night."
WBRZ will provide no production assistance, instead using the broadcast feed from Reelz and showing the feed on WBTR TV.
Hubbard Broadcasting owns the Reelz Channel. Chairman Stan Hubbard says he feels he had a duty to provide access to the show to the Baton Rouge Community.
"It's been important to us that people in Baton Rouge are able to see this pageant whether they get Direct TV or Dish or not," Hubbard said. "This is their life's ambition. This is what they've fought for and what they've done and this is their moment to shine and we're gonna give it to them."
WBTR TV is broadcast on channel 41, COX cable channel 19, AT&T U-verse channel 19 and Eatel cable channel 144. The pageant is Sunday night at 7 p.m. The broadcast originates from the Baton Rouge River Center.
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