Not associated with TV Guide.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Remember when commercials were more folksy and not all dross?  Pepperidge Farm remembers!
The idea of commercials go all the way back to the Depression days of radio when Oxydol sponsored what we call soaps hence the name (mainly Ma Perkins).  They weren't as long by the time TV came around.  Over time they have varying quality.  For me if I don't like a commercial I will boycott the advertiser if possible until it's pulled if it's something I'd buy otherwise it does what it's intended for me to do; make me give into their dross message and validate it.  There are those who would avoid a product if it sponsors a show they protest and this has happened.  PBS are the antithesis of commercial TV and the closest thing to a commercial sponsor would be when a company contribute what would be construed as a tax write-off like the Chubb Corporation.

Is AT&T DirecTV Acqusition a Big Mistake, a Clear Win, or a Deal of Unknown Ultimate Impact? | IP Carrier

Is AT&T DirecTV Acqusition a Big Mistake, a Clear Win, or a Deal of Unknown Ultimate Impact? | IP Carrier

Mergermania continues!

Monday, February 2, 2015

YNN: The return?

The name for right now. No relation (anymore) to CNN or HLN.
If Comcast were to buy Time Warner Cable, obviously TWC News would have to change their name.  I mentioned this the other week but it could go even further.  If the name Comcast News Channel isn't brought up maybe Your News Now could be revived as I said before.  Before YNN it was called R News in Monroe County, Capital News 9 in Albany County, and News 10 Now in Onondaga County.  Even those names could come back yet CN9 would probably need a new logo as Bay News 9 in the Tampa Bay/St Petersburg, FL area uses one like it and is now owned by Bright House whose systems were spun off of TWC there and four other states yet keep a CNY office in East Syracuse.  Comcast already have NBC, CNBC and MSNBC.  TWC News may focus on Upstate more yet it loops all day just in case you miss a story.  As YNN the slogan was that it was only on TWC, not FiOS or satellite.  Now it's a given though the new slogan could be, "Only on Comcast, not on fibre optic (NewVisions are available in some CNY communities instead), DTV, satellite or any other provider (TWC as I've said earlier don't have all of Upstate covered north of Greene County)".  Existing Charter systems in areas like Centre County, PA could get their own YNN channel if it comes down to that.  As some towns aren't close enough to the main cities they can otherwise be overlooked for general news stories so regional channels such as RNN in the Hudson Valley can help inform people there.

UPDATE: Merger is off yet one with Charter and Bright House may happen instead which may lead to this or something like it in the weeks to come.  More to come.

UPDATE 2: It has now been confirmed that TWC News will be renamed Spectrum News after all.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

TV listings then and now

Not the actual logo but I had the TV Quick one saved and decided to work with that.
TV Guide had launched back in 1953 when people were just starting to buy television sets here in the US.  Newspapers would have listings of their own.  Of course technology changed over the past three generations and counting and then some.  There would be more options and competition.  TV Guide would have a local edition for each cluster market (where I used to live would have one for the local cable system as it was between two markets yet was part of the big one).  The paper would have a poor mans version on Sunday (most still do though mine has been pared down in recent years) which listed what channels were offered in each town.  Many in the '90s provided codes for VCR+ remotes which eased programming the VCR which has now gone the way of the Telex machine thanks to DVD and DVR!  An obscure magazine called Happiness (a cheap cross between Guideposts and Readers Digest that used to be in the free section at the cornershop) even used to have truncated national monthly listings.  Large listings magazines geared towards satellite subscribers were available on newsstands.  On TV there was the Prevue Channel (later TV Guide Channel and now Pop), Zap2It or something else though digital receivers with interactive guides have made the older kind available only on non-digital standard lineups.  As for papers some may not have the listings during the week anymore with the decline of print media when most people can just go online anyway to see what's on.  A lot of them now aren't even in circulation all week long or you have to pick one up yourself like in my area.  Meanwhile, TV Guide about a decade back became a full size magazine and since then only have national listings for print and I stopped buying it as it was no longer what I grew up with, although the local bookshop used to have back issues but I doubt they do today due to a change in ownership and possible lack of interest.  Still Homer Simpson can remember when TV Guide was the few things he ever bothered reading!


30th Anniversary this fall. They brought in the ratings and cheesecake back then!
3-4 times a year it's Sweeps when the Nielsen Ratings are on the scene especially during Watershed (Prime Time).  Scripted shows, reality shows and the news alike will all seem to have an "If it bleeds it leads" mentality geared towards sensationalism hoping to lure more viewers in. February has the Super Bowl, awards shows, mid-season and more while in May it's Season Finales (on terrestrial anyway).  July is quieter as it's summer and not everyone wants to be home so much yet cable has their new seasons.  November is getting closer to the festive period and the new season has everyone settled in.  If you ask me every month now seems like Sweeps and 25% of the year Double Sweeps.
Some may argue that the meter and print survey method of gathering Nielsens is getting dated.  PBS can seem exempt from ratings even though Downton Abbey (from commercial ITV in the UK) will bring them in anyway.  There must be technology now that can tell if people are tuning in even with their DVRs or devices.  Some shows are fish in a barrel while others they're not biting and lead to the axe.  If almost no one's watching anymore then it's better to cut their losses though some people will always complain.  Otherwise, if it pays, it stays.

Cable choices

De facto for most of Upstate and Downstate.
By FCC regulation there can only be one cable company per community though there are other methods to receive service.  However there are more ways nowadays with satellite (DirecTV and Dish) and wherever available Verizon FiOS.  In CNY you can even choose NewVisions over TWC although both have their offices in East Syracuse (local ones for national monopoly TWC).  In some areas though you'd be lucky to get the one, or even have an old school antenna on the roof (I still have mine).  Comcast are still looking into getting TWC so that can change things around too.  There used to be large satellite dishes and I've seen a couple in the county but I would think now you'd have to be rich to own one and the TV listings in the paper used to have coordinates listed for cable channels like Lifetime or USA (owned by Comcast now).  With carriage disputes popping up a lot in recent years (there was one with Cablevision as early as the late '80s over MSG which they later bought and spun off), if your favourite channel is gone for a while it makes you want to switch though the provider will say it just tells the channel you're settling for their rise though they all work out eventually.