CableVision May Drop Two Local Channels

August 2, 2011

cablevision logo[Updated] Bermuda CableVision released a statement today [Aug.2] saying the Bermuda Broadcasting Company has requested that CableVision pay to include local channels 7 and 9, which include the popular nightly news programme.

The company said if they have to pay they no longer want to include the channels in its lineup.

CableVision General Manager Terry Roberson said, “Our primary concern is our customers. Why should our customers pay for a service that is provided free to non-cable customers who use an antenna?”

“We believe that this amounts to a ‘cable broadcast tax.’ We have found that the vast majority of our customers are not prepared to pay for a service which has been offered to them for free for so many years, and which would continue to be accessible for free by antenna,” explained Mr Roberson.

CableVision said they will be advising customers of this decision via a personal mailing to each subscriber, and also said those who wish to watch channels 7 and 9 can continue to do so by using an antenna. Channel 11 [VSB] is not affected. We have asked the Bermuda Broadcasting Company for a response, and will update as able.

Update 7:28pm: BBC CEO Rick Richardson released a statement on this evening’s ZBM news, saying the statement from CableVision is “an exercise we say in deception.”

“In fact the statement comes on the heels of an attempt by CableVision to bypass the Bermuda Broadcasting Company completely and somehow get the ABC and CBS network programming by a distant signal.”

“These efforts we say were thwarted by the networks and their lawyers who wrote CableVision and telecommunications pointing out that we, the BBC, have exclusive licence agreements dating back several decades.”

Mr Richardson said they will be releasing further information, and also invited CableVision boss Terry Roberson to appear with him on a open forum on television to discuss the matter.

The full statement made by Mr Richardson on tonight’s news is below, and we extend our thanks to the BBC for the permission to carry their audio:

The full statement from CableVision is below:

The Bermuda Broadcasting Company has demanded that CableVision pay to include local channels 7 and 9 on its cable system.

In response, and out of concern for its customers, CableVision has told the Bermuda Broadcasting Company that, if this is the case, CableVision no longer wants to include its channels.

It is now up to the Telecommunications Commission to decide when the two channels should be removed from CableVision’s cable system. This is expected to take place on or around November 1, 2011.

Local channels are all free-to-air, meaning that any member of the public can watch them for free by using an antenna. Local broadcasters earn money from their channels by selling advertising. Local channels have historically been included in Cablevision’s cable system under “must carry” rules.

These rules meant that CableVision was obliged to carry all local channels but was not charged for doing so. New legislation was, however, introduced three years ago to allow local broadcasters to choose between “must carry” and “retransmission consent.”

If a local broadcaster elected “must carry,” CableVision would continue carrying the channels at no charge. If, however, a local broadcaster elected “retransmission consent,” CableVision could only carry the channels if it paid license fees, a cost which CableVision would then pass on to customers.

Terry Roberson, general manager, explains: “Our primary concern is our customers. Why should our customers pay for a service that is provided free to non-cable customers who use an antenna? We believe that this amounts to a ‘cable broadcast tax.’

“We have found that the vast majority of our customers are not prepared to pay for a service which has been offered to them for free for so many years, and which would continue to be accessible for free by antenna.

For this reason, we no longer wish to include local broadcast channels 7 (ZFB) and 9 (ZBM) on our system.”

“It goes without saying that this is not a pleasant decision for us to have to make; however, after much consultation and review of events that transpired in the past, we believe this is the only logical solution.”

“We will be advising customers of this decision via a personal mailing to each subscriber. The Telecommunications Commission will then need to decide when we can remove the channels.”

Terry Roberson points out that historically the “must carry” arrangements benefited everyone. “CableVision has invested more than $19 million in its cable and fiber optic infrastructure,” says Terry Roberson.

“We have always been happy for the Bermuda Broadcasting Company to use our infrastructure to reach a greater audience and earn greater advertising revenue. This was a ‘win win’ for everyone.”

“The Bermuda Broadcasting Company however now wants our customers to pay for channels which are free for everyone else. We do not think this is right, especially in these economic times.”

“We hope our customers will understand our decision not to carry channels 7 and 9 on this basis and we thank them for their understanding. Channel 11 (VSB) is unaffected. Those who wish to watch channels 7 and 9 can continue to do so by using an antenna.”

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  1. Motts Apple Sauce says:

    I am behind Cablevision on this one. Most of BBC’s revenues are through ads on Power 95. Since Hott 107.5 came along, I am sure those revenus have sunk. Now they have to find a way to make that up. Good luck on this one BBC.

  2. blackbeard de pirate says:

    yes i understand why cablevision would want to keep the cost too customers down, I dont understand why they then choose to make customers pay for at least 10 foreign language channels.

    Local stations actually provide a service to the community.

    • joe says:

      They provide no service.

    • Rockfish#2 says:

      In response to my question,CableVision claim they have no control over their content and are forced to show/charge for these foreign language channels which are useless to the vast majority of locals. Question is, what would they charge without these channels?

      Having a look at WOW!

  3. SL says:

    Not this crap again!

  4. Young Observer says:

    i wish they would take away ABC and CBS broadcasting rights from the Bermuda Broadcasting Company! Theyre quality is poor and I am oh so very tired of wanted to watch a show on ABC only to find that cricket is on -_-.

    • For Real says:

      I couldn’t Agree more!! I’m tired of the Poor BBC channels. If your going to make me pay at least get some REAL CBS and ABC channels that I can enjoy without the crappy local advertising and can enjoy whats on when its supposed to be on!

    • Where is the HD? says:

      Exactly. Good riddance if they do get dropped forever this time. We still have VSB for lcoal news! I only hope that CableVision can find other sources for the ABC/CBS programming, some of which is also shown on the Canadian Network channels…

    • waving goodbye to some favorite shows says:

      So is there no way that we will ever be able to watch ABC or CBS then, since BBC seems to have total control? I mean, there is another NBC option, other than VSB so why are there no other options for ABC and CBS? BBC’s horrible audio and video quality and their total disregard for the customers desire to watch ABC and CBS programs (often they are pre-empted for some ridiculous local program) have had me questioning the lack of ABC/CBS option for years! Is Cablevision going to try to obtain rights to these major networks through another option? This is so stupid…once again!

  5. joe says:

    Gosh, wasn’t the last GM of BBC fired for trying to push this through? Well, he was a Canadian, so who cares. I agree with Cablevision. Drop the news -we can still get enough news elsewhere. Then, the fun will be to see who bothers to buy adverts on BBC news.

  6. Larry & Darrell says:

    Typical small minded Bermudian thinking

  7. mixitup says:

    Yes haven’t we been here before? Ok Solution… have bernews broadcast the News for Cable Vision, I’m sure we won’t miss a beat… ; )

  8. Somerset all de way says:

    While I do agree that we should not have to pay for something that is already free on antenna, I do not want to have to go and buy an antenna so I can switch it out for my cable box at 7pm. So I ask, how much more would we have to pay to keep these channels? If it is like 2 or 5 dollars then that is no problem but anything more is asking too much. Please don’t do this to me BBC and Cablevision. Please come to an agreement. This is all the PLP’s fault. Why did they have to change the law? You see how they messing up this country for us? By changing the law it allows BBC’s greedy pockets to request more money. Change that law back NOW!!!!

  9. Typical small minded thinking

  10. Rockfish#1 says:

    Can Ch 7 and 9 be received island wide using an antenna?

  11. Malachi says:

    This may be off subject, but Cablevision it self needs to out of business. I am an avid boxing fan and for the past several months none of the “free” boxing matches have been aired. (I have friends with satellite dishes – not blocked out there!)

    Moreover, just about every week a channel that I want to watch is simply not there (channel 45, the History Channel is off at least once a week).

    As a ex-hacker of satellite TV, I am very familiar with the screen messages which appear from Direct TV and Dishnetwork. If I had to guess – CV is likely hacking themselves!

    What I don’t understand is why the Consumer Affairs department do not demand they give credit to customers when scheduled programming is not shown.

    After years of subscribing to CV I have decided to subscribe to DirectTV.

    • bermyshotta says:

      @ Malachi – it’s bigga den dat bra. only a couple channels more like most a dem haha all for free too. smh…CV been doing guyz since day 1.

    • More than pi$$ed off ! says:

      Agree 100% Cablevision is a complete rip-off already ..this will only make them 110% useless.
      The amount of times I go out of the way to actually want to watch a programme and then find the channel ‘blank’ is outrageous. What if I decided to pro-rate my monthly bill ? Would the CAB come to my rescue and take my side ? They should have been on top of this years ago. But they’re just a bunch of toothless poodles anyway.

      What if CV deletes the two local channels from their cheapest tier ? There won’t be a damn thing worth the effort of a ‘hookup’ . And why do we have to buy so much utter garbage to get 6 decent channels anyway ? Oh yeah , ‘bundling’ .. makes CV a bundle of cash .. that’s all it does.

      And ZBM need to see the error , and greed , of their ways , if what CV says is absolutely correct.

      THANKS TO (ALREADY CRAPPY) C/V, ZBM IS ACCESSING 16,000 HOUSEHOLDS FOR FREE THAT THEY OTHERWISE WOULD NOT BE GETING INTO. AND I’M NOT GOING TO GET AN ANTENNAE !

      Sorry for shouting , but sometimes you just have to make the point.

      If this goes through …. WOW here I come so BOTH of you loose out !

  12. Andrew Woodworth says:

    Mr. Roberson knows full well what will happen if CableVision no longer carries BBC channels – BBC will go broke from lost advertisers. This, my friends, is a game of chicken, to see who will blink first.

  13. #Ruthless says:

    -this is ludacris, so when i watch the news i have to now stick my antenna in my TV? #pointless

  14. bermyshotta says:

    Instead of worryin bout $$$ issues put de damn broadcastin in DIGITAL NOT ANALOG YA FOOLS. Guyz r behind by YERRRRRRRRRRRS!!! jokes on us

    • me says:

      Right n that’s free right?!?! If CV don’t pay for the services that BBC have already paid for who’s gonna pay to upgrade BBC?!

  15. SL says:

    I guess I will check out WOW. This is crazy.

  16. Totally Disgusted says:

    CV sucks, WOW sucks, Its a damn shame that we pay so much yet receive so little all they do is play the same movies and shows over and over again.

    • VTMRaynor says:

      Its not CV that sets the programming. Its done from HBO,Showtime, CineMax, etc., and the other broadcast statiions. Rent or buy dvd’s, that should help your viewing pleasures…

  17. i see stupid people says:

    Why dont Bermudians do their research first before talking you are making yourselves look stupid

  18. cablesuckshere says:

    CableVision is taking the airwaves and reselling to Bermuda and they got the nerve to bow up to the local channels???

  19. VTMRaynor says:

    So now does BBC tell CV to shut down any programs or channels associated with ABC and CBS. Speed Channel(52) for one is owned by CBS. ESPN is the child of ABC (or vice-versa). Something is not right here. Please get it sorted out. I pay my CV bill on time(not the day before due), regardless, so now do I ask for rebate on missing programs or channels?….

    • OMG says:

      Been there and done that, I have sent letters to Mr. Roberson concerning the BLANK channels, I even went as far as listing a whole months worth of BLANK channels, all he had to say was sorry, Then one night ALL my movie channels went out, I think it was island wide and all CV wanted to give was a rebate of 37 cents. What a joke. I think that we are going back to satellite, CV is a waste of time……

  20. JB says:

    I just don’t watch those channels anyway so I am not bothered. In fact the picture quality is so bad you can’t see what is being aired via CVs line. It may be better by antenna but I am not a fan of their program line up anyway.

    • i see stupid people says:

      it must be cablevision because i have wow and the picture is perfect

  21. Mark says:

    Maybe now we can finally get some HD ABC and CBS feeds? If CV isn’t carrying them then they should be allowed to get some nice Hi-Def up in here.

    The 7 and 9 picture quality is WWII-era quality, the “popular” news programme sucks (it never starts at the right time, sound levels all over the place, picture awful). Good riddance as far as I’m concerned. I can get News from Bernews and download the shows I like in HD.

    Farewell BBC…

    • i see stupid people says:

      like i said stupid people what happens to the staff at bbc

  22. Terry says:

    All yoo lutt do his beach ann mone. I, like many are hooked up to CCTV…….Detz rite…datz ver dee hacksheon his………

    Ann HSBC/BNTB/IB hall have live feeds ewan ven dah klozed………..

  23. PAS says:

    Oh no. You mean I’ll have to watch major sporting events in High Definition Surround Sound instead of the wonderful Low Def fuzzy picture and sound that BBC turns them into? What a shame.

    I get my news from Bernews.

  24. wondering says:

    different spin…..we pay outrageous amounts for cable due to lack of competition and a small market….Cablevision isn’t losing any money are they? absorb the cost and get over it Cablevision.

    BBC, in the meantime, pick up your WEAK game.

    BIG UP Bernews-Larry/Sassy and crew!

  25. Organic Bermudian says:

    Suggestion to Cable Vision get rid of VIOLENT, SEXUAL CONTENT or Just CANCEL this shows While you are at it get rid of TRUTV!! Bring ID Investigation Discovery. Bring programmes/channels that EMPOWER PEOPLE not CONTINUE to REINFORCE IGNORANCE!!!!

  26. Tickled Pink (and Blue) says:

    Guys talking ’bout moving across to WOW…..They can’t even get a functional TV guide up on the screen. Just try it, it’s so, so, so frustrating

    As it’s been said we pay a lot of dough in Bda. for sub-standard tv viewing as we are held over the proverbial barrell to get booted up the rear end.

    • aww shucks says:

      “As it’s been said we pay a lot of dough in Bda. for sub-standard tv viewing as we are held over the proverbial barrell to get booted up the rear end.“

      It’s not a boot ,silly …. why do you think the lube always arrives at the same time ?

    • tradition says:

      You are so right Tickled Pink. I got rid of WOW after 2 months. Mind you CV is not much better. I slept like a baby last night cause we chose to turn off tv last night. Peaceful rest and quiet morning also.

      Hey Bermuda you all should boy cutting TV all together. See how fresh you feel the next day. Enjoy your own company.

  27. True Bermudian says:

    Good for Cablevision. As a customer I stand by them 100 percent.

    Bermuda Broadcasting is trying to broadcast High Definition technology via antiquated systems best suited for great grannies old tube box.
    ZBM & ZFB’s signal quality is a joke and blurry at best. Bermuda Broadcasting tries to hold us hostage and force us to watch a cruddy fuzzy signal like they did with the World Cup when Cablevision is ready to serve the Island with glorious HD. And Cablevision offers high speed internet!

    Bermuda Broadcasting: What have you done for us lately except for trying to price gouge in a fetid economy while broadcasting a terrible signal best suited for the 1950′s? Hope that works out for you.

    Cablevision: Good on you. Stick to your wicket. Hopefully you can secure some kind of CBS and ABC rights so we can start getting network shows other than Fox in HD.

    • i see stupid people says:

      i HAVE LOST COUNT OF THE TIMES PEOPLE ARE SAYING ON FACEBOOK CABLEVISION INTERNET IS DOWN SO OPEN YOUR EYES

  28. Rob says:

    Maybe its time for ZBM to lay down their old tools and walk away. I have been watching ZBM for close to 30 YEARS NOW and they have never got it right. Why doesn’t Cablevision buy them out? The Technical Department is a vital component in running a TV station, but, day in and day out, month, year, decades, TECHNICAL PROBLEMS are constant. Is there someone in the Tech dep. of ZBM that has been there for a hell of a long time with a huge grip?

  29. True Bermudian says:

    Rick Richardson says: “These efforts we say were thwarted by the networks and their lawyers who wrote CableVision and telecommunications pointing out that we, the BBC, have exclusive licence agreements dating back several decades.”

    We say: Your (Bermuda Broadcasting) technology dates back several decades and we no longer care for it and we are sick of being forced to watch an unwatchable signal.

  30. Shell says:

    So how much cheaper will our cablevision package be without channels 7 & 9? Something isn’t adding up. A bunch of hogwash from BBC and Cablevision.

  31. wasteful says:

    and when they drop the channels…i hope they drop the cost.

    • i see stupid people says:

      wishfull thinking you waiting for Santa too

  32. Confused says:

    It would be something to have the Basic Tier’s rate structure investigated as I honestly believe the price not only includes BBC’s stations but VSB and perhaps the Gov’t channels – is Gov making money from this agreement also. So if this is incorrect – I for one would be willing to pay for local tv channels – and since BBC announced moving the news to channel 7 in the near future with other improvements on the way since their new transmitter was installed – hey – if they decided to go in the cable biz – I would give them a shot – I find it disheartening when I want to watch a show or movie and it’s blacked out because CV does not have the permission to broadcast the show/movie at that time. I recall the Ministry of Telecom getting involved when HBO almost sent CV in the grave because they were piratering transmission broadcasts for free and making a profit – are they completely legit now?

  33. Hmmmmm says:

    Sounds like we need a little competition in this industry to get a good deal for the consumer: lower costs and better service. Oh wait, this is Bermuda where we protect crappy service because we’re just too small for competition. Wasn’t that the argument at the airport in support of those job cuts at BAS? Grin and bear it. “Bermuda is another world…..la la la la la la la….”

  34. Organic Bermudian says:

    Good for you Mr. Richardson for putting CV on BLAST These US CEO’s think they can come here and impose their SNAKE OIL BUSINESS techniques on us ‘lowly,” people and continue to RIP us OFF while they LINE their pockets with OUR HARD EARNED CASH!! Cablevision your days are number and to ALL the other GREEDY companies who think they can bring their DECEPTIVE PRACTICES on OUR shores and prosper beware.
    Bermudian EDUCATE yourselves: research companies, landing cost, wharfage fees etc. before you part with your FUNDS PLEASE!!!

  35. navin johnson says:

    At least we could actually hear Mr. Richardson’s rant of course when it ended and went back to the news it was the same tinny sound…BBC blocks Cablevision from showing CBS and ABC in HD so we could actually see and hear them and Cablevision drops them…even the “distant signal” would be better than the crap BBC forces you to watch….

  36. Good for CableVision. BBC will discover its advertisers will leave as they want their adverts to be seen by thousands not hundreds. It looks like the demise of the Bermuda Broadcasting Company is near. The winner here will be VSB.

    • Cleancut says:

      At least Employees at VSB get their pay on time.

  37. Spectators Corner says:

    IT APPEARS THAT YOU ALL HAVE FORGOTTON ONE DECIDING FACTOR. WITH ALL THE FLAT SCREEN TV’s THE INFAMOUS RABBIT EARS WONT WORK FOR TRYING TO GET BBC’s SIGNAL.
    OK ,SO YOU HAVE HAD AN AGREEMENT WITH ABC FOR DECADES.HAVE THEY BEEN HERE TO SEE HOW BBC HAS TRANSMITTED THEIR PROGRAMMING? I DONT THINK SO.I WOULD BE ASHAMED TO
    ADMITT THAT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS WE CANT EVEN START OUR OWN NEWS ON TIME.REMEMBER
    A LOT OF PEOPLE CANT BE HOME FOR THE EVENING NEWS SO WE RECORD IT WITH THE DVR BOXES THAT ARE AVAILABLE FROM CABLE VISION,HOWEVER WHEN YOU GO TO REPLAY YOU MAY HAVE 4 TO 5 MINS DEAD AIR OR YOU MISSED THE FIRST 3 TO 5 MINS OF IT.Mmmm.
    TV IS OVERATED ANYWAY.READ A GOOD BOOK.
    OK NEXT QUESTION IS HOW DOES THIS EFFACT WOW.OH THATS RITE.THEY AND BBC ARE IN BED TOGETHER WITH THIS ONE.
    HEY GUESS WHAT I HEARD …THERE IS GONNA BE ANOTHER CABLE COMPANY COMINGTO BDA AND THEY WONT HAVE TO BUILD LINES FROM POLE TO POLE.Noooooo.THE POWERS THAT BE HAVE TOLD CABLE VISION THAT THEY MUST ALLOW THIS COMPANY TO PLUG INTO CABLE VISIONS SYSTEM. THE HELL YOU SAY. YA BYE. HOWS THAT GONNA WORK.I TRUELY FEEL THAT CV WASNT GIVEN ANY RESPECT FROM THESE POWERS THAT BE FROM ITS INCEPTION HERE IN BDA.
    WAKE UP BDA. MODERN TECH IS DRIVING AROUND TO SEE WHO IS READY.IF YOUR NOT YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.. BBC HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN HERE WITH YOUR TWO CHANNLES, POOR QUALITY. PLEASE

    • Young Observer says:

      caps lock is so unnecessary fella

    • Bermyman says:

      Internet based TV is the way forward! No cable necessary.

      I am tired on Cable’s lies, their internet is not what they sell you, it rarely gets close to the speed you pay for (this is false advsertising), the HD is not full HD (if you watch TV abroad you will know what I mean), they are unreliable and the channels do not work at times, especially when football is on!!

      It is all a farce, they have no competition and they spend minimal money to invest in their customers. everyday like any monopoly.

      • True Bermudian says:

        “Internet based TV is the way forward! No cable necessary.”

        How do you intend to get your internet?! Cruddy unreliable BTC DSL?!

        Plus you can’t get internet based TV like Hulu etc in Bermuda. And NetFlix is blocked.

        Yes their HD isn’t 1080P but it’s way better than anything else. Bermuda Broadcasting is a sick old joke and is floundering in an ocean of no revenue and they have no life preserver.

        • outkasted says:

          I see you are not internet savvy are you Hulu and netflix? Ahh NO! There are others! :D

          • True Bermudian says:

            Well you seem to be the internet Don Dadda – hook some links up.

            As far as I know Hulu and Netflix are the only legal internet TV stations and they block Bermuda.

            If you know of any others then let us all know so we all have access to high quality HD content.

      • outkasted says:

        LMAO….. I conotinue to watch people still pay for cable tv. Hell no The internet is definitely the way forward. I’ve benn Cable/TV free for 5 years

    • The Rock says:

      all caps much?!

  38. God Sees All says:

    Cablevision sucks. If you look at thier brochure that has the prices for different channels, its reads Channels 2-30 $30. They charge us for 7 and 9.. Anyway at the end of the day they are all about money!!!!

  39. Andrew Woodworth says:

    All moot points. When Eastlink, the purchaser of Cable and Wireless, gets permission to bring television to consumers, CableVision is toast.

    • Onion says:

      Agreed eastlink is good i never had any problems the 2 yrs i had it in halifax and they did my cable and internet.

    • outkasted says:

      Fibre anyone!!!! :D

  40. pebblebeach says:

    Who cares…read a book…

  41. Original (Original) says:

    All TV will be internet based soon so CV will be out of business. As for Bda Broadcasting: There are many ways to get local news. Local TV is beyond bad – a national embarrassment. I won’t miss it at all.

  42. time to says:

    Netflix and all the big internet movie station will soon be able to be accessed in Bermuda and having seen netflix on many of my American friends tv’s it is much better.People pay 9 dollars a month and can watch all the movies and tv shows they want.WOW and cable V will not be around ,they will be what dial up internet was to computers soon. once all these internet sites like Amazon and netflix really take off with their new programs.
    Nobody in America pays the amount Bermudians pay if they dont want to ,a lot more alternatives,

  43. The Truth ( One & Only) says:

    It appears that CV are charging customers for ch 7 & 9 so BBC want a cut of it. If I was to take a free broadcast and rebroadcast it for a fee I would be called a pirate or accused of stealing to gain profit. So what is Cable Vision doing? Sounds like what’s happening in the music industry.

  44. The Truth (One & Only) says:

    I wonder if ABC & CBS saw how poor their signal is being broadcast would they take the exclusive rights away from BBC?

  45. It is what it is says:

    CableVision are “pirating” anyway….and charging outrageous fees…..in the states you can get cable, internet and phone for $30.00 ….Rip offs!!!!!

  46. Spectators Corner says:

    500percent mark up seems to be the norm for any merchants bringing goods into Bermuda.Unfortunately we seem to forget that we dont have the volume of customers here in BDA ,and like Cable Vision,Gibbons company,Market Place ect. ect. you pay or pass.Life is about the choices you make and the last time I checked,we still have freedom of choice…..the main thing to remember is that you have to live with the choices you make.No one is twisting your arm to watch TV or buy a pair of jeans from Shannons that cost you $80.00 here but $20.00 in America.

    As for you young observer,I chose to do all caps for IDIOTS LIKE YOU WHO ALWAYS SEEM TO FIND EVERYTHING BUT THE MESSAGE.