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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Kicking Around The NFL Network

No doubt, you’ve seen the ads for the NFL Network games starting Thanksgiving night with Denver at Kansas City.... Or you know that the Bengals-Ravens game Nov. 30 is the second NFL Network telecast. So here’s the good news and bad news:
--Good News: Bengals fans will be able to watch the Ravens game on Thursday, Nov. 30. As with the ESPN contract, the NFL Network games must be simulcast on an over-the-air station in the teams’ markets. Ch. 5 won the bidding for the 8 p.m. Nov. 30 Bengals-Ravens game with announcers Cris Collinsworth and Bryant Gumbel.
--Now the bad news: Northern Kentucky’s Insight cable, which has the NFL Network on digital Ch. 547, will not carry the game. Insight execs refused to pay the "exhorbitant fee" for eight NFL Network games this year, says John Dobken, Insight spokesman. "We opted not to buy that package to hold cone costs to our customers," he says.
Time Warner has never carried the NFL Network here. (Time Warner wants to put it on a extra-pay sports tier, and the NFL wants wider distribution.) So you’ll need DirecTV or Dish Network to see all eight NFL Network games. At you can get more info, and send an e-mail to your cable company requesting the NFL Network.

Will Time Warner ever pick up the NFL Network? Or ESPNU?

"Vanished" banished to the web
"Vanshished" has vanished, and "Justice" could be next. Fox has canceled the Jerry Bruckheimer drama about FBI agents (Ming-Na, Eddie Cibrian, Esai Morales) searching for the kidnapped wife (Joanne Kelly) of a Georiga senator. The last four shows will be streamed on MySpace starting today, one each Friday through Dec. 8.
Fox also announced that back-to back "House" episodes will air 8-10 p.m. Mondays in December. Victor Garber’s "Justice" is moving from Mondays to the "Vanished" slot at 8 p.m. Friday in December.
More Fox news today: Fox has ordered six more episodes of "Stand Off," the FBI hostage negotiators drama (8 p.m. Tuesday), and nine more "Til Death," the Brad Garrett-Joely Fisher sitcom (8 p.m. Thursday).

More TV renewals
ABC’s "What About Brian" and NBC’s "Friday Night Lights" are safe for the year, with full season orders.

TV tonight
My suggestion is to TiVo "Mayor Dog," the one-hour show tonight (9 p.m., Animal Planet) about the black Lab that’s mayor Rabbit Hash, so you can watch parts on fast forward. I’ve seen the entire show, and was surprised at how much of the video repeats in the hour, as if they didn’t have enough footage of Junior the dog or the town. Filmmaker Jude Gerard Prest ("Rabbit Hash: Center of the Universe") shot the film in June 2005 in Rabbit Hash and around Boone County. (In 18 months they couldn’t get enough new footage to sustain an hour?) Ben Stein narrates the film.

Christmas musical note
As mentioned in a post on this blog earlier this week, MIX 94.1 goes all-Christmas music at 5 p.m. today. It will continue -- except for during the Whoopi Goldberg morning show -- through Christmas Day.


at 11/17/2006 11:01 AM Blogger Chris said...

I commend Time Warner for taking a stand against the NFL on this one. While I'd love to have the NFL Network, I know a whole bunch of subscribers who couldn't care less. Making them pay the exorbitant fee the NFL is seeking for a channel they'll never watch is ridiculous. Time Warner is right to want to put it on a digital sports tier.

Now, ESPN2HD and ESPNU is a different matter completely...

at 11/17/2006 11:12 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

I tried to give Vanshied a chance but just couldn't get into it. Rebbeca "the Noxema Girl" Gayheart was probably the only standout in that cast.

As for the NFL network - I got one word for ya - Directv! No special tier or extra fees it's just there.

I'd like to see a ratings comparison around this time of year vs the rest of the year. Do people really tune in to listen to an all Christmas station? I could see if you owned as small business and didn't subscribe to Muzak. How many individuals really tune in to hear all Christmas music?

at 11/17/2006 12:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Time Warner, how I don't miss thee! I'm so glad I kicked you to the curb for DirecTV. You are slow to add channels and your customer service is terrible. Seems I made the right choice.

at 11/17/2006 12:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you have the ability to get answers from TW on if they plan to carry ESPNU and ESPN2 HD? I try to call but customer service is not very knowledgeable. I am very disappointed that TW has not added any new HD channels since I got my set 13 months ago. Anybody know if FSN will carry the Reds games in HD? JOHN, PLEASE HELP!!!!!

at 11/17/2006 12:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I switched from time warner to directv and it looks like I made the right choice. Plus, the picture quality with over-the-air HD is much better than HD on time warner. Time Warner takes the over-the-air HD signal and compresses it, making it look worse than the original picture. NFL Network on Directtv doesn't cost me extra either.

at 11/17/2006 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 12:04, I'm with you.

TW has not been able to stop the pixilization in the video, the audio often takes 15 seconds to catch up to the picture when changing channels, and the service was down for 20 minutes in the middle of last Sunday's Bengals game.

On top of that, when my promotion rate ran out last month, TW not only put me back on the normal rate (which I expected) they also tacked on another $22.00 because my expiring promotion rate was considered a "service change".

As of next Tuesday, I'm back to Cinti Bell for phone and Zoomtown and Direct TV. Bell has all three packaged for a year at $89 a month (and that includes the NFL Network).

at 11/17/2006 3:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the self-contradicting argument there, Chris...

You say Time Warner shouldn't force people to pay to watch the NFL network, since many people couldn't care less. Yet, in the very next paragraph you write about how ESPN2HD and ESPNU is a different matter.

How? I don't own HD TV, why should I want my cable company to waste valuable resources negotiating a deal for ESPN2HD that benefits a mere fraction of TV viewers. And what about the millions of TV viewers that couldn't care less about college athletics (including those who went to institutions that are never televised)?

All cable channel choices are relative. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean the cable company should be applauded for not including it.

at 11/17/2006 3:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how the NFL was called in front of a Senate commitee on Wednesday.

From Newsblues: NFL officials were also called before a Senate hearing yesterday to explain their decision to put games on a channel that many cable subscribers won't be able to see. The hearing was part of a larger inquiry by the Senate committee into the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act, which allows joint broadcasting agreements between networks and sports leagues to exist despite antitrust laws.

at 11/18/2006 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone else getting tired of the pixilization on TimeWarner channels? Why do we have to pay for this? It makes watching a program sometimes useless because of the constant freezing.

I wish they would stop trying to digitize every channel. It doesn't work yet.


at 11/19/2006 11:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Sunday Enquirer TV guide list the CW (Cincy or Dayton) anymore?

at 11/19/2006 8:18 PM Blogger skippercollector said...

My advice to the person (John or otherwise) who prepares the Sunday TV Week in the Enquirer:
1. Yes, I, too, would like to have CinCW added for the entire 24 hour period.
2. Add the listings for I (which used to be Pax). Not even TV Guide lists I. The closest TV schedule I have found that lists I is, of all things, the Versailles (IN) Republican, which publishes the evening TV schedule for the next week.
3. Eliminate the Hallmark listings. Time Warner discontinued Hallmark several years ago from its basic lineup, and unless you have digital Time Warner or a dish or live outside Time Warner's area, you can't get that channel.
P.S. A note to Time Warner: I never understood your reasoning for eliminating Hallmark. Whenever I go out of town, I watch Hallmark on that city's local cable channel. If TW returns Hallmark, I would definitely want the listing back in the Enquirer.

at 11/19/2006 10:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have ways of making you talk.

at 11/19/2006 10:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purple is still a good color.

at 11/19/2006 10:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you prefer stuffing, or dressing?

at 11/19/2006 10:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmmmmmmmm. dressing.

at 11/20/2006 9:20 AM Anonymous MEA Media said...

A quick question...i'm thinking about switching to DirectTV thru Cincinnati Bell. I currently pay almost $90 a month for TW.

Anyone out there have any thoughts or suggestions for me?

at 11/20/2006 12:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check Cincinnati Bell's web site.
They will "bundle" 3 services for you Unlimited Long Distance Home Phone/Zoomtown/and Direct tv Basic package(155 station including NFL NETWORK) for $89 a month.

My dish installer is coming tomorrow.

Mt neighbor just did the same thing,and his picture is WAY better than Time Warner.

at 11/20/2006 3:46 PM Blogger Brad said...

Does that bundle deal also apply to NKY? You can only get NFL Network on Insight digital, and I'm not paying $15 more a month for one channel.

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