The Chiefs will be broadcasting their preseason games in St. Louis this fall, Chiefs president Mark Donovan told fans at the 2016 fantasy camp on Friday.
After the Rams’ departure for Los Angeles over the winter, Donovan said at the NFL’s annual meeting in March that the league had to decide how to split up St. Louis’ preseason television rights among the four teams that surrounded the market — Kansas City, Chicago, Tennessee and Indianapolis.
Donovan said the league decided to allow any NFL team that could find enough broadcast partners in the area to broadcast its games there for one year.
“We have fans there and we’re going to get in front of them now and develop that relationship,” Donovan said, according to Chiefs.com. “We knew that was coming and we have been working on this for the past few months. (Vice president of business development) Tyler Epp and his team have already negotiated deals, so our preseason games will be broadcast in St. Louis.”
In March, Donovan said that according to league rules, to broadcast preseason games in St. Louis the Chiefs would have to give up cities that matched that (St. Louis) population —“Cities we’ve been in for years and years and years, so we’re not going to do that,” Donovan said.
But the league’s decision to waive the rule for one year opened the door for the Chiefs, and other teams, to broadcast its games there without repercussions.
Donovan said the Chiefs also plan on having shoulder programming — like coaches shows and Chiefs Rewind — in St. Louis as well, though they have yet to announce any broadcast partners.
Since the Rams’ move was announced, Donovan and team chairman Clark Hunt have consistently stated that the club was not prepared to aggressively market to St. Louis fans, though neither ruled it out down the road. It would make sense with the two cities only four hours apart.
Donovan reiterated that the club will continue to be respectful of the process Rams fans just went through.
“I think what you’re going to see over the next four of five years is a real resurgence of the Chiefs brand in St. Louis,” Donovan said. “We do have some advantages over the other NFL franchises, not only in geography, but because it’s in the state of Missouri, we’re the only team that can actually market our corporate partnerships as well as our brand in St. Louis, so that’s a big advantage.
“Again, we’ll do it respectfully, we’ll do it patiently and we’ll do it strategically.”