We have blogged in the past about how programming is selected for TV, and how local stations are assigned to different areas.  However, why we do or do not have a particular channel in a particular area continues to be one of the most frequent questions that we get.  So, we’ve put together a list of answers for quick reference whenever you would like to know just what airs on TV is chosen.

Q.  Who chooses what local channels I have in my area?

A.  We know that sometimes you would like a different set of broadcast options or you wonder why the channels that you loved are suddenly gone.  Local affiliates for NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX are actually governed by a set of federal regulations.   It is actually up to the networks to grant or deny cable operators (like Great Plains Communications) use of their signal, in addition to exclusivity in their markets. That means that if NBC and its affiliates decide that the Lincoln stations should air in your area, then that is what will air.


Q. Why does my favorite show suddenly go off the air?

A.  This one is actually governed by each channel.  Of course, networks want to put on shows that a lot of people watch so that they can charge higher rates for advertising.  It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that the show or channel that you loved wasn’t watched by many others.  An example of this was SPEED, which aired racing programming 24/7.  Unfortunately for fans, the ratings for the whole channel were very low and it was replaced with more popular programming.


Q. How does Great Plains Communications determine what channels to air?

A.  There are a few different influences on what we choose to air on our Cable feeds.  First and foremost, we take into account what our customers want to see.  We were definitely going to air the Big Ten Network!  The second influence is the cost of the channel.  Every single channel that you view comes with a subscription fee paid by Great Plains Communications.  If that fee is very high and demand for the channel is only so-so, we are going to pass.  We also look at the availability of those channels.  Some channels might demand to be offered on a particular tier.  That impacts price and might make a channel undesirable.  At the end of the day, we are looking to provide the best value to our communities.


So there you have it.  The answers to our top questions about TV programming.  If you have another question, please let us know in the comments section!

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