Jeese, it only took them 1.5 weeks to print the darn thing. I was starting to wonder if they were holding out on me because of the not-so-subtle slams on WDAY (owned by Forum Communicataions).
Here is the actual text of the letter so you don't need a login (plus it'll eventually go away on the Forum site anyway...)
I'll let you guys know if Charlie, Mark, or Kathy take me up on the offer of a beer...
Shane Erstad letter: CableOne at least ahead of networks with hi-def TV
Published Tuesday, February 01, 2005
I bet that whenever CableOne gets front-page press in The Forum (city franchise issues rate hikes no Twins for a month), the station managers of our local Big Four networks sit back and enjoy the fact that nobody bothers to think about them.
Since it's always been so easy to trash cable companies, nobody realizes that our local affiliates are the biggest problem in Fargo/Moorhead when it comes to television programming and that's a fact whether you subscribe to either CableOne or a satellite service.
How many here have heard of high-definition programming? How many realize that it's twice as good as even DVD? How many have seen the nice promos that Fox puts up before every Vikings game: "Hi-Def! 5.1 sound! Great Stuff!"? Do you see the fine-print that says "where available"? Well, I hate to break your heart, but it just isn't available in this area and I see no indication that it will be anytime soon.
The only network that is broadcasting locally in hi-def is PBS. That's right, PBS. This means that the KVLY/KXJB Super Network is holding back the Olympics and CSI, WDAY is holding back Monday Night Football, and KVRR is holding back the Super Bowl. In fact, I'm not even sure WDAY has mastered color and stereo, let alone even considered joining the 21st century with HD.
I've heard excuses from all four networks about "too new of technology" (which it's not), "too expensive" (I believe the parent networks are subsidizing upgrades), and "the government's deadline has been pushed back" (I would hate for them to actually listen to customers). I've even heard that an ice storm at least four years ago is to blame!
So, Charlie Johnson, Mark Prather, and Kathy Lau (I think you're the current station managers), I invite you over to my place for a beer: we'll watch a little T-Wolves in HD on TNT, maybe some Sopranos on HBO and Nova on PBS - and I'll do what I can to "sell" you on hi-def programming. Maybe then we can get your stations a little excited and more forward-thinking about the concept.
I know there are a lot of more important things in the world to worry about right now, but I feel a guy could cut Cable One a bit of a break and focus on the real television problem in the F-M area for a change. There's only so much they can do without some help from the local networks.