Originally posted by Beacon
Charter has 2 CBS stations, 2 ABC stations, 2 FOX stations, and 2 PBS stations, and 0 UPN stations. I like to watch UPN shows 'Veronica Mars' and 'Enterprise'. Both are on KIMT but that has got to be the worst of all the locals in regards to signal and both are on so late at night I have to tape them. I can't watch them live. Why does Charter do this?
Well, first of all, those of us with antennas are watching WFTC out of the Cities just fine. I first bought an antenna because Charter didn't carry WFTC (Timberwolves games, once upon a time, and now Twins games for this upcoming season.) Charter did, for one year, carry WFTC as a UPN affiliate. However, people howled about KMSP because KMSP carried the high-school sports tournaments (football, basketball, hockey.) In spite of the fact that they have to black out KMSP more than they can show it, they needed it for that. (And yes, during the year they had WFTC, they carried KMSP on a "special" basis, but their stupid automated switcher turned off the channel at the assigned time, even though a game involving local teams was on. Fifteen minutes later, they resumed the correct feed, but by then the most exciting overtime finish of the tournament was over.)
It is worthwhile to note that KIMT *is* the Rochester/Austin/Mason City/Albert Lea affiliate. (UPN is co-owned by CBS, but I don't know if that makes a difference.) So even if Charter carried WFTC, my understanding is that they would have to black out UPN programming that KIMT carried with their happy little "Check other channels and/or local listings" message. Maybe those of you who had WFTC during that one year window can answer that one.
I think you'd get a lot of people upset if WCCO or KSTP was dropped. Their local news programs have quite a following down here, and people can be quite vocal about their preferences. There is a bit of a gap in quality of reporting from the #14 market to the #154th.
That said, I think adding KSTC and WFTC would be a great service for Rochester viewers. The unique programming on those channels is worth the price of admission. The blackout messages wouldn't have to be quite so frequent, and sports fans in Rochester would get programming they can't get anywhere else. Oh, and the high-school tournament rights have been sold to KSTC, so the KMSP argument no longer holds water, except the one that justifies WCCO and KSTP.
For what it's worth, KSMQ isn't really a PBS station. They air some PBS programming, but they often forgo programming for cheaper alternatives. KTCA carries national PBS programming, so there's rarely overlap between the two stations. KSMQ has "must-carry" status. KTCA doesn't. If it was inverted, I suspect KSMQ would be dropped.
You can make your complaints to Charter. You could complain to UPN that they don't have a local affiliate here. You could switch to Dish Network (and keep Charter basic, if you wanted) and subscribe to their superstation package, which would get you two or three UPN affiliates (or just pick one for $1 a month.) Otherwise, sit back, shut up, and watch whatever the Charter executives decide to give you.
Cable sucks. I didn't realize how much until I put up an antenna. Better picture, more channels, lower monthly cost. What's not to like?