Cable channel warning about TV shows no cause for panic
NOT to cause a panic or anything, but Oceanic Time Warner Cable
's customer bulletin board on digital channel 911 informs viewers that several channels' carriage agreements are soon to expire.
The agreements cover Home & Garden TV, which is part of Oceanic's analog lineup, digital and family packages; Showtime, which occupies ten Oceanic digital and HD channels; seven "Encore" branded channels; three "The Movie Channel" channels, Flix at Channel 674 and iN Demand 2 HD. Time Warner Cable may be required to cease carriage of these stations in the near future, the notice reads.
A recent Federal Communications Commission clarification requires cable providers to give customers 30-days' notice "in advance of removing them from our service," said Nate Smith, Oceanic president.
"Because the negotiations are being done between the respective corporate headquarters, I can't comment on their present status," he said.
If no agreement is reached, carriage would cease in mid-January.
"Not to be too cavalier about it," he said, but agreements are routinely renewed or extended month to month and then renewed.
Smith has never heard of a channel such as Showtime leaving a marketplace, he said.
CW update part deux
The CW did not get into each Hawaii digital cable household by 3 p.m. yesterday as hoped, keeping Oceanic customer care center call-takers busy and leaving at least one Big Island customer un-tuned in.
Customers who encountered a black screen and a box titled "Not authorized," were instructed to call a number to receive CW. As indicated in this space on Sunday, the channel was to be available to subscribers with digital boxes statewide at no extra charge.
Meanwhile, also appearing on Oceanic's digital channel guide, were assignments for a high-definition channel for KHON-TV and for Fox Sports Network.
KHON President and General Manager Joe McNamara said there is no agreement signed for carriage yet and that there is no official announcement, but that the channels are there for testing purposes.
KHON-HD will be tested on Channel 933, clustered near the other major network affiliates: KITV (ABC) at 936 and KHNL (NBC) at 938. KGMB-TV owner Emmis Communications Corp. has had a dispute with cable companies about carriage agreements for its more costly HD programming, so CBS network's HD programming is only available to those who can receive it over the air, with certain high-definition TV sets.
Once testing is done and Fox Sports HD begins service, Channel 951, or whichever channel it finally winds up on, will be dark at times because it doesn't have programming 24/7. However, "Whenever they have games on in HD, they'll put them on," said Alan Pollock, vice president of marketing for Oceanic. The local listings feature on the Fox Sports Web site had not been updated to reflect Hawaii viewing times as of late yesterday afternoon, but the information would appear on Oceanic's channel guide, Pollock said.
Oceanic also carries Fox regional sports channels as part of its digital sports package.
You say wi-fi, he says hot spot, they say, "Speed Zone." Oceanic Time Warner Cable's Roadrunner wireless Internet service is accessible to customers' laptops and other portable computing gadgets in 13 areas around the state.
The Speed Zones available include Tamarind Square in downtown Honolulu, Queen's Surf beach in Waikiki, Starbucks at Windward City Shopping Center, Schofield Exchange, Pearlridge Center Uptown, Hickam Food Court, the Kailua business district, and along Alii Drive in Kona on the Big Island. More zones are planned for the coming year around the state.
"We're committed to not only offering increased choice and value to our customers but also transforming the way Hawaii residents receive information and entertainment," said Oceanic President Smith, in a statement.
The service is free to Roadrunner subscribers and available to nonsubscribers for $2.95 an hour or at half-day, daily and weekly rates.
Oceanic is preparing a contest that will allow subscribers to win prizes for describing their favorite Speed Zone location and that will help it determine where service is most desired.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com