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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BG Friends to Interfere with Your Cable Reception

There are things in the cable television world known as “network non-duplication” and “syndicated exclusivity.” You don’t actually want to know about these things because they are only rights, requested by a bevy of lobbyists working for the National Association of Broadcasters and granted by the legislators and regulators they have been able to “influence.” Once granted, these rights cause you to get less than what you should from your cable television service. We wish we had never heard of these terms either.

Instead of explaining these ill-conceived rights, let’s just talk about what affect they are about to have on your television viewing pleasure. Starting very soon you will notice that channels 43 and, maybe 540, (WLKY - CBS from Louisville) will be dark when CBS national programming is on. This comes as a demand from our friends in Bowling Green at WNKY. You see, our carriage of their programming on channels 7, 8, 514, and 543 is apparently not enough to satisfy WNKY as they are intent to press their Network Non-Duplication rights. They want to use these rights to make themselves the only CBS signal you can receive in Glasgow (and were it not for the fact that the FCC forbids them from interrupting WTVF - CBS from Nashville, they would likely be successful). So, with the exception of some locally originated WLKY programming, like their nightly news, and a few sports events, you can pretty much say goodbye to WLKY because of the demands of WNKY in Bowling Green (their phone number is 270-781-2140).

Syndicated Exclusivity, the other thing you really don’t want to know about, is another tool that WNKY in Bowling Green is attempting to use on you and it may cause even more inconvenience and interruption to your television viewing habits. Under this right they can make us black out dozens of syndicated programs like Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Jeopardy, and many others so long as they appear on a channel other than WNKY. This would cause havoc, not to mention great expense for us, and your immediate reaction will be to be mad at us. So, we are attempting to negotiate some sort of settlement with them to avoid this ridiculous demand which will do nothing but cause pain for the people of Glasgow due to the demands of a broadcast company in Bowling Green.

We will keep you posted on how these discussions with WNKY are going.

15 comments:

mdjh said...

I don't understand how a station in Bowling Green can tell us what we can watch in Glasgow. Don't we pay for broadcasting rights to channels like WLKY in Louisville? Can you clarify for us common folk?

WiseShawn said...

Why not drop WNKY so you'll be free to show the other networks' programming without having to black out certain shows? If WNKY wants to be so controlling they don't deserve to have their networks on the channel lineup at all. Maybe a threat of dropping them will open their eyes a bit and lighten up on their ridiculous demands.

Billy Ray said...

They can tell us because, as stated in the original post, the broadcasters have been able to maneuver our lawmakers to give them the right to establish themselves as monopolies without real regulation. They have been granted the right to be the only CBS or NBC affiliate within a 50 mile radius of their broadcast transmitter and that covers Glasgow.

Billy Ray said...

WiseShawn,

That is certainly on our list of possibilities, but they could still demand this protection even if we do not have them on our cable system! This is what it is like when our government takes its orders from big business. Big business (and the National Association of Broadcasters is just about the biggest around) gets whatever it wants.

WiseShawn said...

You say they have the rights to be the exclusive affiliate within a 50 mile radius of their transmitter. I'm guessing that includes both over the air reception as well as cable TV? I can understand how a station would want to have exclusive rights to broadcast over the air within their market, but cable TV is a lot different. That would be like CMT demanding cable operators to black out music videos on GAC since they both play the same videos.

Billy Ray said...

No, it has nothing to do with over the air. If you have an antenna, you can still watch whatever you can pick up. This is because they have not figured out how to effectively bleed the individuals with antennas. But they sure have figured out how to get laws passed to allow them to bleed the cable systems, who, of course, in turn, pass the costs along to the consumers.

Billy said...

Billy how much revenue would you estimate that they would lose if Glasgow Business Owners pulled their ads? WNKY and WBKO both. Do they survive on national advertising revenue or is the local advertising market share enough to make them take notice. I do think we need to voice our concerns to them, but it seems in this case the dollar would speak a lot louder than words.

Billy Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

You mentioned in a prior post that they would stop EPB from having WTVF in Nashville if they could.. How does that work? What keeps them from doing that? Again in a prior post, someone said tell them that we will drop all their broadcast stations from Glasgow's lineup and live with WTVF and WSMV, like we did prior to their existence. If they legally can't keep EPB from doing this, and still want to "exert" their so called rights then EPB can have the right to drop everything from them. Even if WLKY has to go, We'll be fine with TN stations. This all sounds like a build-up in the works for the future to make themselves seemingly irreplaceable to us and pull a scheme like WBKO did a year or so ago wanting lots of $$$$ to carry their signals. I can only imagine them coming to EPB after their stations are gone for a month or so, hat in hand wanting to be carried again. No one has mentioned, but are they pulling this on SCRTC as well?

Billy Ray said...

Chuck, luckily, the one thing going in favor of small cable operators like us is a principle called "significantly viewed status." In our case, WTVF and WSMV are considered "significantly viewed in Barren County by the FCC. Broadcasters rights to network non-duplication are trumped by significantly viewed status. So, WNKY can huff and puff, but they, as yet, cannot blow these two Nashville broadcasters out of our lineup.

What they are doing with SCRTC is not something that is available to me for obvious reasons. However, they are required to treat competitors evenly and I can only assume that they are.

jwhite6069 said...

I agree with chuck, Just drop WNKY and replace them with WTVF. While your at it drop WBKO and replace it with WKRN! WTVF is a far better station then WNKY anyway.

WiseShawn said...

jwhite, as Billy Ray stated in response to one of my comments, WNKY can still impose their "rights" on the competition even if they are removed from the lineup. If EPB were to drop WNKY, any programming shown on NBC or CBS can be blacked out at their request, so you couldn't watch that programming at all. You either watch it on WNKY or you don't get it at all. That's the insanity of these so-called "rights." WNKY will get their way because they can.

jwhite6069 said...

Wiseshawn, Did you read where billy ray said( "significantly viewed status." In our case, WTVF and WSMV are considered "significantly viewed in Barren County by the FCC. Broadcasters rights to network non-duplication are trumped by significantly viewed status. So, WNKY can huff and puff, but they, as yet, cannot blow these two Nashville broadcasters out of our lineup.)? If I am understanding this correctly it means WNKY can't do anything about WTVF and WSMV.

Chuck said...

Shawn you should read my exchange with Billy, as I understand it they can keep us from having WLKY, whether we drop WNKY or not but their "rights" are trumped for the Nashville Stations which Glasgow has been receiving for years and where there has been the ability to pick them up via rooftop antennas. Glasgow has not been able to pick up WLKY via rooftop antenna for years and does not have this protected status. That is what gives them power over getting it removed. So yes, while they still can demand that we don't have WLKY, they can not demand that we must show their stations which is sort of like working with a spoiled child that won't share his or her toys. Such that if you won't share then we'll just drop you as well. We still get CBS and NBC from the protected Nashville Stations that they can't hold over our heads. At that point WNKY has to decide if the net effect they have accomplished has hurt or helped them.

WiseShawn said...

I stand corrected on that tidbit. Since we can still have the Nashville stations then by all means WNKY should be dropped until they can play fairly.

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