Networks are the ones in control. They have the option to pull their network programming off an affiliate at any time. Sunbeam was obligated to run that game and Idol or risk losing their Fox affiliation to another company. Networks would rather see their Primetime programming run tape-delayed on another networks affiliate in a market than not air at all.
I don't think so........
If Fox or NBC or CW had that much control in this case, none of their programming would be blacked out. It's the owner of the stations, and has been reported as such.
You are correct in that a network can pull their programming, but they can't make an affiliate show it. Affiliates have refused to air certain programs in the past.