About 40 of the 63 commercial stations that carry the broadcast in smaller markets are looking for sponsors to make up for lost subsidies since ChevronTexaco pulled out of financing the Saturday afternoon show.
The opera company has assembled enough money to keep the broadcasts running through next season, which begins in December, although without the subsidy that ChevronTexaco used to pay to compensate stations for not breaking into the broadcast with advertisements.
The Met is creating seven to ten advertising spots during broadcast intermissions.
This cut, which reduces the cost of the broadcasts from $7 million to $5.6 million, does affect the nonprofit stations that carry the broadcast.
Some stations might cancel the broadcast altogethe. KLEF in Anchorage, Alaska, was previously paid $520 per broadcast by ChevronTexaco. President and general manager Rick Goodfellow said, "We think it's a lot of money. It's not all that easy to replace. We certainly can't replace it by a few commercials."
New York's WQXR did not consider dropping the Met broadcast. Tom Bartunek, the station's president and general manager, told the Times that he was concerned about the loss of revenue, "but there was never any question we would not continue to carry the Met, regardless of whether there is no money."
For a full schedule of Met broadcasts this season, click here.