KOCO-5 president Brent Hensley defended his station’s decision to pre-empt all but the first 25 minutes of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals for storm coverage, but noted the station will revisit the subject as the NBA Finals approach.
The past few years, KOCO had developed a back-up plan that allowed it to move NBA Finals games to over-the-air channel 5.2 and Cox channel 222, KOCO’s 24-hour weather channel, in case of extended breaks for storm coverage. "This past Sunday, the storms came up and the severity of the storms came up so quickly and stayed for an extended period of time,” Hensley said. "We felt it was the right move to not move it and keep everybody focused on what was going on with the weather coverage.” Hensley noted such a switch needs to be approved by ABC in advance, and its digital weather channel reaches only 45 to 55 percent of market households. "The majority of those would have been in the metro area,” he said. "We don’t have weather information that we can update as frequently as we need to be on the weather channel itself. ... As we get closer to the NBA Finals, we’ll have to decide exactly how we’re going to handle it if we have storms crop up.” If it had been an Oklahoma City Thunder playoff game Sunday, instead of a Boston-Orlando match-up, KOCO likely would have taken a different approach.