Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Messing with my shows: part 1
Blogger My Wrath sent me a copy of the reply he received from CTV in response to a compaint about program substitutions , which is the act of blocking viewers from seeing the local ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox broadcast of some show and overriding that channel with the CTV or Global broadcast -- provided the show is "comparable and broadcast simultaneously."
The CRTC forces television service providers (cable and satellite companies) to do this. Their rationale is the following: If Canadians could choose to watch 24 on Fox or on Global TV, many would chose to watch it on Fox. As a result, less Canadians would be watching the Canadian ads on the Canadian networks, which means less monies for Canadian networks. So the CRTC forces television service providers to do dumb program substitutions.
(Most Canadians clue into the issue of program substitution during the Super Bowl. Program substitution is why we are not able to watch the talked-about American commercials during the game.)
Because program substitutions are done my humans, mistakes are made and our enjoyment is diminished. Like on December 4, 2005 in Toronto when the guy at Look TV (television service provider) decided that he'd put CTV's broadcast of Cold Case on the CBS channel at 8pm. The problem was that CBS was still showing an episode of 60 Minutes (which started later because of a football or basketball game).
My Wrath complained to CTV, who blamed Look TV. CTV was the one that requested the "program substitution" for that hour, but it claims that Look TV was ultimately responsible.
So, he complained to Look TV, which blamed CTV. In fact, Look TV said that "substitutions are pre-programmed in our servers and can only be turned off if we receive a warning from the CRTC not to proceed with the substitution." As My Wrath explains in his letter, 60 Minutes almost always starts late and never ends at exactly 8pm, which is something one would know if one has watched that show even once in the last 30 years. (Note to Look TV: Your product is television shows, so you might want to familiarize yourself with the product.)
Tomorrow I'll write about another way Canadian networks/cable companies/CRTC screw up our television-watching experience.
In the mean time, here are links to forms/info to complain to our television cartel in Canada: