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Friday, March 26, 2010

We Lost on Jeopardy


For $100 - This Bowling Green based television station does not want you to be able to watch Jeopardy at 6:30 on cable in Glasgow.

*ding* What is WNKY in Bowling Green? CORRECT!!

This little imaginary segment of Jeopardy is meant to bring the latest demand from WNKY into focus for Jeopardy fans in Glasgow. Hot on the heels of demanding that we interrupt WLKY network feeds on our cable system, comes the latest from WNKY. They now want to use their broadcaster powers to force us to also black out the Jeopardy broadcasts from WLKY which appear at 6:30 weekdays on our cable system.

We have agreed, since we really have no legal alternative, to start interrupting Jeopardy on WLKY at 6:30 just as soon as the other video providers in our area start doing the same. This could occur as soon as April 1, so we want everyone to be prepared for this. Concerns and complaints about this demand should go to the folks at WNKY - Bowling Green. Their phone number is 270-781-2140.


jwhite6069 said...

just get tough and drop wnky.

Unknown said...

I agree, let them go.

Billy Ray said...

The thing is, it isn't that simple. First of all, we have a contract to carry them until the end of 2011. Then we could drop them, but it even dropping them would not diminish their power to alter what we watch (unless some of our representatives suddenly grow a spine and change some laws).

Unknown said...

Things were so much better back in the analog days. WNKY's primary channel isn't even CBS, and if it weren't for the digital changeover they wouldn't even have a CBS affiliation at all. I say it's time to make a pact. All the cable providers get together and make a deal to not carry WNKY on their lineups until they stop their bullying. There is strength in numbers, and if all the cable operators drop WNKY they will have no choice but to settle down and stop trying to be king.

Unknown said...

Not to mention Jeopardy isn't even shown at 6:30 on WNKY. It comes on BEFORE it does on WLKY! I don't see what WNKY's fuss is about. Maybe 6:30 is more convenient for some people, and those who really want to watch Jeopardy has already seen it on WNKY, so it's not like they're going to watch it again on WLKY. Somebody give the whiny baby that is WNKY a bottle!!!

Billy Ray said...

WiseShawn- It is certainly true that things were much simpler in the analog days. Of course, pictures were not nearly as pretty! Your idea on solidarity sounds good, but I am afraid that would run afoul of the Sherman Anti-trust Act. Competitors are forbidden from conspiring together, and, in the broader view, that is a good idea.

The reason they don't want WLKY's Jeopardy on is that they want to sell commercials on Jeopardy and be able to tell the advertiser that they are the only place Jeopardy can be seen in Glasgow. Like most things, you have to follow the money to understand why people do what they do!

News said...

The only way this is going to get fixed is by changing the laws. Everyone can help by writing your congressman and/or senator.

Max Phipps

Raid said...

Wait a minute, isn't it NBC, CBS, and the makers of Jeopardy that ultimately decide who can or can't carry their shows?

Why can't they do something? Is it because WNKY is paying them for the right to be the exclusive carrier in the market?

Billy Ray said...

Shows like Jeopardy are not actually owned by the networks like CBS or NBC. They are syndicated, which means that the local broadcasters purchase the rights to these shows. Unfortunately the broadcasters have been able to use their lobbying power to couple the syndication rights with laws that give the broadcaster the right to be the exclusive provider of that particular show within a certain area.
That is well and good if you live in a big city where you really only have access to one broadcaster affiliated with each network. But in a rural area like Glasgow, everyone expects to be able to see broadcast stations from Bowling Green, Nashville, AND Louisville. That is what causes all of the problems. We can put up a big antenna and pick up these stations, but that does not mean we have the rights to let the customers enjoy this bounty. There is always someone whose greed is greater than their desire to allow other folks to enjoy their life.

Raid said...

So, to sum up what you said:

They pay for the right to broadcast the shows in Glasgow.

The you can't show the other stations because they don't pay for the right to broadcast in Glasgow.

If you do broadcast those shows, aren't you taking something that someone else paid for, and giving it away for free?

Billy Ray said...

Hmmm...not exactly. First of all, each broadcaster is in business because they were granted a frequency to use in the spectrum owned by each of us. So, they are using the air space that we all own and since the beginning the broadcasters bought programming and put it out there to attract eyeballs so that they could sell advertising to folks interested in being seen by those eyeballs.

That system worked for decades until the broadcaster became so rich and powerful that they could get laws passed that also allowed them to charge the cable systems for the right to pick up the programming with an antenna from the air space owned by everyone. But even that was not enough for the broadcasters. Then they demanded the right to be the exclusive carrier of certain programming within 50 miles of their broadcast tower.

So, yes, WNKY paid for the right to broadcast this programming, but so did the other broadcasters which carry the same programming. We pay each and every broadcaster now for the right to carry their programming. Still, though we pay for it, we cannot show all of the programming because local broadcasters have been granted the right to stop us.

I hope that clears the matter up.

Gary Pierce II (Floyd) said...

I just called to complain.