Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TVCTV Losing Channel 98

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Time has run out for Treasure Valley Community Television's Channel 98.

The City of Boise has given Cable One permission to reclaim the channel which has been home to TCTV programming, primarily content from the Classic Arts Showcase.

Channel 98 used to also broadcast Boise City Council meetings, but city officials opted to stream its proceedings through its own online portal—

Boise Weekly has chronicled TCTV's recent struggles, not the least of which was when both of its channels—11 and 98—went dark due to a lack in funding. But in mid January—buoyed by a new board of directors, TCTV returned to the airwaves, while it tried to pave a new path to financial self-sufficiency.

But that didn't solve TCTV's dilemma with Channel 98.

"Cable One came to the city and said that channel was set up specifically as a government channel. I don't know that any other local government has been on that channel," said Michael Zuzel, assistant to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. "We've decided that at this time we're not interested in returning to Channel 98 ... so after an appropriate amount of time or notice, and I don't know what that is, Cable One plans to take Channel 98 back."

Officials at TCTV insist that they pleaded with the City of Boise and Cable One to keep Channel 98 after securing new permissions to air Ada County Commission and Ada County Highway District meetings on the 98. They say they also wanted to air Boise City Council meetings at no cost to the city.

But the repossession date is still slated for today.

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Cable One, Viacom Feud Could Result in Disappearance of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, CMT

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Five months after a stand-off between Cable One and the Turner Broadcasting System, resulting in the disappearance of Turner's CNN, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies disappeared from the screens of Boise cable subscribers for the better part of the month, Cable One has a new feud—this time with Viacom.

"In spite of our repeated requests, Viacom avoided negotiating a new contract with Cable One for the past two months, " Tom Might, Cable One CEO, wrote to subscribers. "This significantly jeopardizes the chance of a mutually satisfactory agreement."

What all that means is that unless an agreement is reached before Monday, March 31, the following channels could disappear from Cable One: BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Teen, Nick Toons, Spike, TV Land, VH-1 and VH-1 Classic.

Cable One insists that it will continue to negotiate "to strike the best deal for our customers, whether that is negotiating a fair rate or dropping some of their less popular networks and carrying only the ones you really watch."

Boise wouldn't be alone in the dark. Cable One is the nation's 10th largest cable provider—serving more than 700,000 customers in 19 states.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

KBOI General Manager to Staff After BW Story: 'Don't Get Distracted'

Posted By on Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Someone's ears were apparently burning over at Channel 2.

On March 5, Boise Weekly reported that KBOI-TV pulled a pair of controversial news promos that openly advocated for small government while deriding outsiders for "imposing their will" to fix Idaho health care.

When BW asked KBOI-TV Vice President and General Manager Don Pratt about the spots, which ran for less than a week, he conceded that the promos had been pulled, saying that it was not his station's intention "to create a spot that creates an impression of bias. But to the extent that we've done that, we're obviously going to be held accountable for that."

And within hours of the story being published (BW, Citydesk, "KBOI-TV Pulls Controversial News Promos," March 5, 2014), Pratt sent an internal memo to KBOI-2 staffers, cautioning them not to "get distracted by this."

"The tone and phrasing of our new campaign needed adjustment, so that is what we will do," wrote Pratt in the internal memo.

KBOI-2 began airing its "adjusted" promos this weekend.

Here's a look at the script of one of the original promos and the script of its replacement:

Original news promo: "Lots of people think they know how to fix health care. At KBOI-2 we know that Idahoans know what’s best for Idaho. So when outsiders try to impose their will...when they try to tell us how to can count on KBOI-2 to protect what’s right. We stand for the people of Idaho."

Adjusted promo: "There are a lot of confusing changes going on right now in health care. It's becoming harder to understand how we can protect our families... to decide for ourselves, right here in Idaho what's best. At KBOI-2, our promise is to keep the system accountable to the people it serves. We stand for the people of Idaho."

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

DVR Overload: Tonight's Network TV Logjam

Posted By on Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Television DVRs were invented for nights such as this. In fact, there may be too many choices on network and cable networks this evening ... so good luck.

Begin with the fact that CBS is broadcasting the AFC Divisional Title between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, which is expected to stretch into the evening hours.

But that's just the beginning of the prime-time logjam, which will include new episodes on HBO and Showtime, the Good Wife, Downtown Abbey and all of the glitz on The Golden Globe Awards.

Sunday is easily the most-watched television night of the week—with more than 120 million Americans in front of their TV sets during prime-time, according to Nielsen.

Among tonight's conflicts:

6 p.m. - The three-hour broadcast of the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards begins on NBC.

7 p.m. - HBO airs the premiere of of its new series True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

7 p.m. - New episodes of The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy and American Family air on Fox

8 p.m. - A new episode of The Good Wife airs on CBS.

8 p.m. - HBO airs the season premiere of Girls with two new back-to-back episodes.

8 p.m. - Showtime broadcasts the season premiere of House of Lies.

9 p.m. - A new episode of Downtown Abbey airs on PBS.

9 p.m. - Showtime airs the season premiere of Episodes.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Supreme Court Will Consider Landmark Case of Free TV Streaming

Posted By on Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

In what's expected to be a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case of a start-up Internet company and major broadcasting networks which claim their very survival hangs in the balance of so-called "free TV streaming."

Aereo is a New York-based company that uses small antennas to pick up over-the-air television signals and then allows its customers to store them for later viewing. Aereo maintains that its service is perfectly legal since it uses signals that any customer could obtain for free through a traditional TV antenna.

But ABC, CBS,Fox, NBC and PBS are threatening that they would consider pulling the plug on their free airwaves altogether and become pay cable channels if the Supreme Court were to decide in favor of Aereo.

The networks lost a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal ruling in 2013, when justices said Aereo “transmits unique copies of broadcasts over the Internet” to individuals, so these are not “public” showings.

Taking their appeal to the Supreme Court, the broadcasters said the decision, unless revised, would “profoundly affect, and potentially endanger, over-the-air broadcast television.”

Lawyers for Aereo argued broadcasters have to live with the “essential bargain” they made years ago to send out free broadcasts in exchange for use of “public spectrum worth billions of dollars.”

The U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear the case of ABC vs. Aereo in late April and issue a ruling by late June.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

CableOne, Turner Kiss and Make-Up: CNN, TCM, Cartoons Back on the Air

Posted By on Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

To borrow (and alter) a phrase from Gerald Ford: "Our long, television nightmare is over."

Maybe it's not as bad as Watergate, but by the sounds of things, some CableOne subscribers were pretty ticked that CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, the Cartoon Network, and all of the rest of the Turner Broadcasting networks had disappeared when CableOne came to loggerheads with Turner over fees.

Friday night, CableOne announced that it had reached an agreement with Turner to restore the channels. Officials promised that the restoration of the channels would begin immediately, but "may take several days to complete."

"We're pleased to be able to restore these channels to our customers, and appreciate their patience and loyalty."

Boise wasn't alone in the dark, at least when it came to Turner channels. CableOne is the nation's 10th largest cable provider—serving more than 700,000 customers in 19 states.

"We value the relationship with our viewer and thank them for understanding," read an official statement from Turner officials. "We're grateful for their continued loyalty and support for Turner's programming and brands."

Neither side would disclose the terms of the agreement.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Video: Jon Stewart Dumbstruck By Malala Yousafzai

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM


The Nobel Prize Committee has been busy this week, doling out honors in medicine, physics, chemistry and, just this morning, in literature when Alice Munro became the first Canadian to win the Nobel and only the 13th woman to wind the coveted literature prize.

But the real anticipation is building for this year's announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. Top contenders are rumored to be Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, Russian activists Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Svetlana Gannushkina and Lilya Shibanova, Myanmar President Thein Sin and U.S. researcher Gene Sharp.

But the real buzz is swirling around Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot while defending equal rights to schooling for girls.

Earlier this week, Yousafzai left Jon Stewart dumbstruck on The Daily Show when she told the comedian that if she were confronted by the militant that shot her in the head a year ago, as much as she would like to strike back, ultimately the best response would be to educate him and his children.

Addressing her attacker, Malala told Stewart, “I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well."

Take a look:

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CNN, Turner Classic Movies Disappear From Local Cable Line-Up

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM


Cable ONE announced earlier Tuesday morning that it had hoped to retain TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network on its schedule, but by late afternoon, the cable provider said that three networks would join CNN, CNN en Espanol, CNN Headline News, Turner Classic Movies, TruTV and Boomerang in being pulled from its channel line-up.

“Turner has chosen to punish our customers by deauthorizing the signals for these channels so that they will no longer receive them,” said Trish Niemann, Cable ONE Public Relations Manager. “We believe that they have deauthorized these channels in retaliation for us dropping their less popular programming.”

Meanwhile, Turner Broadcasting is pushing back saying that it had offered an extension of the services while negotiations continued to establish appropriate rates.

"We are simply asking that Cable One pay the established and accepted rates already in the marketplace for our portfolio and remain willing to discuss a new agreement that recognizes the strength and value of our networks and the popular programming they offer," read a Turner statement.


Tens of thousands Cable ONE subscribers in the Treasure Valley don't have access to the "most trusted name in news" today.

Cable ONE announced this morning that, with its inability to renew a contract with the Tuner network of stations, it has dropped CNN, CNN en Espanol, CNN Headline News, Turner Classic Movies, TruTV, and Boomerang from its channel line-up.

"We have made every effort to reach a fair deal," said Cable ONE CEO Tom Might. "However, Turner has demanded an increase of nearly 50 percent for channels with steadily declining ratings. Since we were unable to reach a fair deal with Turner, we've been forced to drop these channels from our channel line-up."

Cable ONE has secured a separate agreement to keep carrying TBS, TNT and the Cartoon Network.

"We're hopeful that Turner will continue to negotiate in order to reach an equitable agreement for the dropped channels," said a Cable ONE statement.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Netflix Shares Soar In Wake of House of Cards Success

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM

What's America's fastest growing television network? Netflix. But of course, Netflix technically isn't a network.

On the heels of its highly successful launch of its streaming-only series House of Cards, Netflix is impressing investors with better-than-expected profits and solid subscriber growth. Netflix reports that it signed up 2,000,000 new customers in its latest quarter, for a total of 29,200,000 members, almost as many as HBO. Almost as important, Netflix has become one of Wall Street's hottest performers, rising more than 80 percent.

In October 2012, Netflix shares were trading at approximately $60 on Nasdaq. This morning, Netflix was trading at $214 per share.

The company pointed to its current buzz-generating series House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, for a good amount of its success and its upcoming May 26 release of the rebooted "Arrested Development" series.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sinclair Broadcast Group To Take Over Boise CBS, CW TV Stations

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

In a deal announced this morning, Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to acquire Fisher Communications—the parent company of KBOI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Boise and Boise CW affiliate KYUU-TV. The deal also includes the takeover of two stations in Eastern Idaho: CBS affiliate KIDK-TV and Fox affiliate KXPI-TV.

The $373.3 million dollar deal encompasses 20 television stations in eight markets and three radio stations in Seattle.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. Sinclair said it would finance the purchase through cash on hand, a bank loan and/or access to capital markets.

In all, Sinclair will own and operate 134 television stations in 69 markets, reaching more than 33 percent of U.S. television households.

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