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Friday, February 10, 2017


Serving Eastern Ontario and beyond.
I've known about CKWS in Kingston, ONT for years as they had listings in TV Guide as they could be reached not only across St Lawrence River in Watertown but also in Utica down NY 12 on cable.  They may even have been available in Syracuse in the '80s.  They were an affiliate of Canada's pubcaster the CBC until a couple years ago when station own Corus switched it to rival network CTV.  CBC is either available on cable or satellite at least per CRTC regulations, or from a repeater of the Ottawa flagship CBOT.  There is a secondary affiliation with Global for news.  There could be a tier with CTV on DT1, CTV Two on DT 2, Global on CT3, and CBC on DT4.  Gatineau (CRTC) would have to approve this, and it might not work that way there as it would across the seaway.  Third-party owned stations aren't as common in Canada and almost like the US, occur more in smaller markets like Kingston.  Having the same kind of branding is also not widely known there, so it otherwise could be called CTV 11, or CBC 11 in the recent past.  All the major networks have to appear on Cogeco, Vidéotron (eastern Ontario and Québec cable systems, respectively, although both are based in the latter), Shaw Direct and Bell TV (Canada's answers to Dish Network and DirecTV in no particular order).  Even in Canada, some people are trying to save money by using an antenna and watching online (where they can bypass Cancon to watch international programming).

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I should really learn how to make real logos of my own!
They say that one thing leads to another, and it always does.  Also, just when you think the entire country is covered, somewhere falls through the cracks.  Someone mentioned getting NBC 7 & 4 from Traverse City which lead me to finding out the resort town of Alpena, WI until recently were in the same boat as fellow Great Lakes city Watertown, NY as far as not having NBC or MyNetworkTV to call their own, making this the next frontier to conquer.  However, I've only been to the Midwest once in my life, so I know even less about there myself than New Yorks North Country which I have been to several times.  Then again, NBC 45's owner are based in southern Georgia, so it's not uncommon for a station owner to be based out of town and/or state as it's not uncommon, even in Roscommon.  The FCC just cares that a licence is paid for and regulations are followed.
Through a shared sales agreement, cable-only CW 21 WBAE (yes, that's a real station!) could be simulcast on 26.3 as predecessor The WB had cable based affiliates for smaller markets in the past.  One of the little networks like ThisTV could be on 26.4.  Channels 18 and 31 are also available to create new tiers with these newer netlets as the possibilities are almost endless now.  New call letters would have to be found as the ones they had look more like the kind for translators such as W63AE in Oneonta which simulcasted ABC 20 WUTR in Utica back in Upstate NY in analogue days to Otsego County and the northern Catskills, yet these new stations will be over in the Wolverine State, which like much of the Midwest largely lacks elevation which can disrupt signals especially in the elements.  Sky truly is our (if) only limit now.
If there's another lesser known area missing a certain channel based there I'll eventually hear of it and come out of my occasional writers block.  Meanwhile, Alpena sounds like a nice place to visit during the summer so I could see how it goes there but that's a story for another day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Smaller networks

The most elusive of them all.
In the past decade or so, new networks like ThisTV, Antenna TV and RTN have cropped up on DTV giving people more choice over the air.  Older generations recall being lucky to have three channels on the dial!  Now they can see the shows they grew up with on most of these netlets.  MeTV and Antenna TV have picked up rights to several classics.  Series shown had reruns aired in syndication and on cable in the past after their network run had ended (yet off-network repeats usually start after Series 4 when there are enough to pad out a cycle to avoid too much repetition in a short span of time).  Some have yet to even appear on DVD, BluRay or streaming (The Golden Girls for example are on a few cable stations and now Hulu, twenty-five years after the original series left NBC and twenty after terrestrial broadcast rights expired in the US).  Other chestnuts had not aired at all in years and are now available for a new generation to enjoy although the ratings for these fledgling networks may be bubbling under in the Nielsens as they are low priority next to the big boys today.
Only Albany and Buffalo have a ThisTV affiliate Upstate at this time.  Watertown (45.3), Rochester (36.1), Syracuse (5.3), Binghamton (20.2), Elmira (39.2) and Plattsburgh (3.3) have space for it.  In my area, if the existing tiers won't expand, a new one could open and could get the old CBS 5 studio in the city or the one for WCNY (PBS) in Galeville (Liverpool).
Escape, AntennaTV, Decades, CoziTV, Justice Network, H&I, TBD (an actual network, not an undetermined one), The Works, Light TV, Movies! and YouToo (which is even older than Fox) all also have yet to reach CNY airwaves, although some may be available on cable and satellite as even Fox had a national feed for small markets yet to catch up with the rest of the country with their own station as recently as over a decade ago, but now these poor mans versions of Nick at Nite/TV Land provide an alternative for those tired of todays headlines, reality shows and reboots yearning for a simpler time.  They do have something for the kids if not what I may have watched in my day to meet FCC E/I programming requirements, even if no one really watches.
TheCoolTV is down to just a couple stations despite playing more music videos than MTV, BET, VH1 and MuchMusic combined as late payment of royalties to station owners if not record companies in addition to people watching them online may as well shut the network down.  The Tube previously had the same thing but could also be seen on cable.  I remember The Box with a 900 number back in the '90s where my43 and AMG are today.
If these newbies have new series it might not work due to their low-man status on the totem pole.  Catalogue or library titles account for much of their budgets as far as royalties, rights and residuals.  Old or new there is more competition than ever in America yet only the front line networks get feedback at the water cooler the next business day as opposed to the old guard from when you used the tap.  Still it's good to have more choice when some parts of the world are lucky to even have the bare essentials.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Took me a while to find this official logo.
The wait is over, North Country!  Jefferson County has waited well over three generations for this!  NBC finally have an affiliate to call their own in the border community.  I knew this day would come.  The call letters could stand for Watertown - Viggo (Mortensen of Lord of the Rings franchise fame, who grew up in the area) - North Country.  It's early days right now as they won't even have their own news operation for another year.  Perhaps once the digital tier is established with the FCC, MyNetworkTV could be on 45.2 (in test mode right now but we're on our way!) and two other fledgling networks on the other two or more channels.  Spectrum, Verizon FiOs, NewVisions (Tug Hill), Dish and DirecTV would have it replace NBC 3 from my neck of the woods in accordance with the FCCs Must Carry rights.  Some first-run syndicated series like Celebrity Name Game and Wendy are included in the schedule alongside all-new SVU and soon Syracuses very own (ex-FNC) Megyn Kelly (who I call local girl).  I was prompted on Facebook when one asked about Laff to find this after looking at local affiliates for that network.  SagamoreHill Broadcasting from Augusta, GA own the new station and I applaud them for founding it.  WBQZ and WLOT (which could get ThisTV and other lesser known networks) were tied up in legal red tape and it is ironic neither may have considered licencing Americas first network for the St Lawrence corridor up to across from Cornwall, ONT.  As a low-power station, this is probably one of the few stations on this side of the seaway that older TVs can pick up without a converter (the FCCs Canadian counterpart the CRTC in Gatineau, QC have gradually phased out analogue signals in favour of digital in recent years themselves, as I could get CKWS in Kingston, ONT on an old school telly several years ago when it was still a CBC affiliate that are now under rival CTV).  Hopefully Lester Holt gave a shout out as his predecessors have in the past to latter-day franchises.  The late network brass Brandon Tartikoff would be proud that this small town three hundred miles from New York City finally have an NBC station based right in their own backyard. In any case, DT1 will be NBC Watertown and DT2 will be MyWatertownTV.  No official sites apart from Facebook for the station or owner are available at this time.  If I can find another portable pre-2009 TV at the charity shop I could use it to test for the signal if there's still an analogue channel otherwise it gets nowt and I'm lucky one chain back in town will take it for free.  A pocket model for DTV exists and that would be nice for long road trips and I do make it up I-81 once a year as last time I mentioned to a pensioner on the bus how the Peacock Networks airwaves had yet to grace the northern skies.  Then the other week on a Golden Girls facebook group I bring up their old home and how people would have had to have cable, satellite (when it was mega-dishes) or a strong antenna on the roof just to get NBC 3 or 5 (Plattsburgh and Burlington) when it was still on up to 25 years ago this May.  At least today those who have to have a smaller aerial don't have to miss out anymore (the ladies left syndication two decades ago for cable and lately went on Hulu, taking them off free TV in North America).  Now Alpena, MI across the Great Lakes region from the Thousand Islands can be the Peacock Networks next frontier to conquer with a new affiliate, but I don't know the first thing about that area, so that'll be for another day (maybe even today).

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The New Melody Maker: Halloween 2016

Bae will try again this year!
The New Melody Maker: Halloween 2016

Not strictly about the telly but this is important to me so do have a read.  The Nielsens and BARBs are usually down on the night as people go out (albeit more on Saturday this year as it's a weeknight).

Monday, September 26, 2016

my Chicago TV

This can always be changed again.
With WGN 9 going back to their indie roots, WPWR 50.1 is not only CW for Chicago, but myNetworkTV as well in an unusual move for the nations third largest TV market and the largest in the Midwest.  This is something you'd expect in the past or now in a small town not the Windy City.  However, there is a space on 50.5 when the other four are in use as some tiers have five channels like ion in some areas.  It should be used for myNetworkTV alone.  They are based in Gary, IN of Jacksons fame which is part of the Chicagoland metroplex.  As for syndicated programming (much of what used to be made in Cook County) there might not be enough even Entertainment Studios, informercials or other available programming.  Then RCN, Comcast, Dish and DirecTV have to agree to carry it as WGNs owner Tribune only just made peace with Dish recently (I only missed WGN America, the national counterpart for outside the Chicago area).  To boot, WPWR as myNetworkTV is an O&O (and sister to Fox 32 WFLD) so they should be a priority along with carrying a competitor (this is similar to my38 WSBK in Boston which is now owned by CWs half-owner CBS whose O&O there is CBS 4 WBZ; the switch made after UPN folded into the CW and WSBK too went back to being network-free for a period like it was back when I could watch it on cable growing up, as I only went to both big cities in more recent memory, yet WGN also only came later to my area).  myNetworkTV prove to be a weak sister to Fox and FNC as far as ratings go and don't be surprised if they go the way of Dumont and the WB (the other network hermaphrodited into the CW).  It is more of a syndicated package than a network and another Great Lakes region, Watertown, NY only just got a myNetworkTV and an NBC station to call their own.