Friday, July 21, 2006

WCHS TV and FOX 11 might go dark in Charleston

The Charleston Gazette reports WCHS TV and FOX 11 have not reached a deal to stay on the local cable company's line-up. This could mean no more “American Idol” or “Desperate Housewives.” No “Lost” or “24.” No Big East football or “Eyewitness News.”

There is a statement on the WCHS TV website that says:
Attention Former Charter Cable Subscribers: The cable systems formerly owned by Charter which were sold to Suddenlink have already or may discontinue carriage of this television station in the very near future. To ensure your continued ability to watch our programming, residents in the Charleston and Huntington markets should contact DirecTV at 1-888-777-2454 or the DISH network at 1-888-265-6902.

In An Open Letter To Our Viewers General Manager Harold Cooper says:
Although Suddenlink would like you to believe this is the fault of WCHS and WVAH, you should know that we have been attempting to negotiate with Suddenlink since we became aware of their proposed acquisition to avoid this.

He goes on to say:
Sinclair (the parent company of WCHS and the programmer of WVAH) has successfully reached agreement for the carriage of its signals of its television stations, with many cable and other multi-channel video providers, including the largest such companies, Comcast, DirecTV and Echostar. We have also reached agreement with AT&T and Verizon, both of which are starting to launch video programming in certain of their markets. In fact, as noted above we already have a group-wide deal with Suddenlink, but they have not even offered to extend the terms of that agreement to the systems they acquired from Charter.

In the case of local programing and news, I think the FCC should get involved.

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Blogger Stacey said...

Personally, I think it is hillarious! Here's why. When I decided a few years back to ditch Cable, and get DirecTV, I never could convince those two networks that I couldn't use the "over-the-air" signal as it was terrible. Their "maps" said that I was gettinga grade B signal which should be enough. It wasn't. So, I went for a year without local programming. Now, the table has turned. For me it is funny! For you guys on cable... Oh well, AI isn't that great anyways. :-)

9:27 AM  
Blogger Stanton said...

I'll go Stacey one better - I don't have cable OR satellite. Old fashioned antenna on the roof for me. It helps to live on a hill top.

I get 8 channels. It takes a lot less time to flip through eight channels to find out there's nothing on. Great timesaver.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

The FCC needs to get involved in Sinclair's ownership of two stations in the same market.

Suddenlink should just pick up WOAY from Oak Hill and add the national Faox feed and give a hearty "screw you" to 8 & 11.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Rudy Panucci said...

"Suddenlink should just pick up WOAY from Oak Hill and add the national Fox feed and give a hearty "screw you" to 8 & 11."

I'm working on a piece on this for PopCult, but basically, that's the plan. Suddenlink has already dumped Fox 11 in Beckley and replaced it with the national feed.

It'd be a nearly fatal blow for TV 8's news operation. I have a feeling that Sinclair will fold at the last minute.

Later, Rudy

6:57 PM  
Blogger Anathema Device said...

Damn straight, they should!

This really stinks. :( I hope it gets resolved before we lose our locals.

7:27 PM  

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