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October 19, 2020 10:18 am  #1


Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

After all the comments here in the past about how annoyed some of us are about simultaneous substitution and the fact stations like WNLO (Channel 23, the CW in Buffalo) aren't readily available on all systems here, comes word that our friends down south are experiencing the same thing. 

A huge cable company called Spectrum has been badgered by their customers for months about the sudden disappearance of CTV Toronto on their channel line-ups. At first, they claimed that old stand-by, "technical difficulties." 

But now the Buffalo News reports that Channel 9 is gone for good for viewers across the border. Their excuse seems a bit lame to me, considering the way cable normally works in bringing in distant signals. 

According to the News article, a statement from Spectrum reads:

“We will no longer carry the channel, because since changes in August to Canadian broadcast stations’ frequencies, we no longer receive an over-the-air signal we can provide to our customers.”

It also reveals that Canadian stations viewed in the U.S. on cable have their signals blacked out when they're showing American programming at the same time as their network affiliates. So it seems we're not the only ones who have to put up with simsb. Although, somehow I don't think it bothers them as much as it does some of us.

Spectrum Cable users have seen the last of CTV 

 

October 19, 2020 10:27 am  #2


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

Pandemic aside, there used to be tons of Canadians staying in American hotels that might want to catch up on some news about their hometown Toronto.
Now they can't?
Or are hotels running on a different source? 
(think Niagara falls USA, or any border town...or maybe even a little deeper into the States)
 

 

October 19, 2020 2:11 pm  #3


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

At one time, CBLT, CFTO, CHCH and TVO were carried on many Western New York cable systems and the listings were always included in the Buffalo edition of "TV Guide" From what I understand, the U.S. simsub works differently than here. Instead of substituting a Buffalo signal over CFTO, the entire signal is blacked out and a scroll of this channel is currently  unavailable appears on the screen. I wonder if Spectrum's reasoning for dropping the station has some merit. CFTO is listed at 10.2K signal strength which is much lower than the always weak CITY signal at 49K. Perhaps 10K doesn't send a reliable signal to Western New York. I wonder if Buffalo area OTA viewers are having as much trouble receiving our stations in this digital post repack world as we are their channels. Perhaps some of our Western NY members could shed some light on this.

 

October 19, 2020 2:15 pm  #4


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

I, too, would be interested in that answer from WNY viewers.

However, to me, Spectrum's excuse doesn't hold any water. Cable companies used to (and in some cases still do) bring in Detroit channels for Ontario viewers, whether by satellite or microwave relays. They're certainly not available over the air here in any form, yet they still show them. 

If Spectrum really wanted CFTO back, I don't see how a weak signal would be an impediment.  

     Thread Starter
 

October 19, 2020 2:22 pm  #5


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

US resident here.  Statement form Spectrum reads in part “We will no longer carry the channel, because since changes in August to Canadian broadcast stations’ frequencies, we no longer receive an over-the-air signal we can provide to our customers.”
I have Verizon's FiOS package and they never have carried any Canadian stations.  Personally I do miss it as we would occasionally watch CBC and CFTO  news. 

 

October 19, 2020 2:39 pm  #6


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

RadioActive wrote:

I, too, would be interested in that answer from WNY viewers.

However, to me, Spectrum's excuse doesn't hold any water. Cable companies used to (and in some cases still do) bring in Detroit channels for Ontario viewers, whether by satellite or microwave relays. They're certainly not available over the air here in any form, yet they still show them. 

If Spectrum really wanted CFTO back, I don't see how a weak signal would be an impediment.  

Excellent point RA. Alberta residents get their US nets from Spokane, Wa. via microwave or satellite.

 

October 19, 2020 3:19 pm  #7


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

Radiowiz wrote:

Pandemic aside, there used to be tons of Canadians staying in American hotels that might want to catch up on some news about their hometown Toronto.
Now they can't?
Or are hotels running on a different source? 
(think Niagara falls USA, or any border town...or maybe even a little deeper into the States)
 

www.internet.com 

 

October 19, 2020 3:27 pm  #8


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

I have no idea if it's available today,  but back in 1995 I was staying at a Walt Disney World Resort in Fla. and after checking in decided to catch a 6:00 pm newscast in my room.  I was very surprised to come across CFTO's Ken Shaw and on another channel 680 news.  

I don't know if this was unique to the Disney property or provided by a local cable provider with the Snowbird audience in mind.

 

October 19, 2020 3:32 pm  #9


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

jt1001001 wrote:

US resident here.  Statement form Spectrum reads in part “We will no longer carry the channel, because since changes in August to Canadian broadcast stations’ frequencies, we no longer receive an over-the-air signal we can provide to our customers.”
I have Verizon's FiOS package and they never have carried any Canadian stations.  Personally I do miss it as we would occasionally watch CBC and CFTO  news. 

How about CHCH? The other stations (with the exception of the CBC) mostly show the same programs as the American networks and mostly at the same time. But Channel 11 has morphed itself into "TV's Classic Hits" and that's one I might miss if I could no longer get it on cable. Not sure if you could pull it in on a small antenna, but I guess it depends on where you're located. 

     Thread Starter
 

October 19, 2020 4:36 pm  #10


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

jt1001001 wrote:

US resident here.  Statement form Spectrum reads in part “We will no longer carry the channel, because since changes in August to Canadian broadcast stations’ frequencies, we no longer receive an over-the-air signal we can provide to our customers.”
I have Verizon's FiOS package and they never have carried any Canadian stations.  Personally I do miss it as we would occasionally watch CBC and CFTO  news. 

Sounds like it's time to say yes to an IPTV service to get as many Canadian channels as possible in the States.

 

October 19, 2020 5:33 pm  #11


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

Have the other cable companies in Western NY dropped CTV Toronto as well?  Too bad since there is enough different programming on the channel that it would be worth having. I would think some in Buffalo and area would watch CTV news programming, W5, eTalk,  Just for Laughs etc. and some of CTV's daytime programming.   Five of the twelve hours 6am to 6pm is simulcast and US programming, and seven hours is original.

Spectrum doesn't help however by just putting up a blank screen when there is a simulcast.    With COVID playing havoc with TV schedules and production, there has actually been less simulcasting.  Tonight for example there are only 2 hours of simulcast in prime time on CTV.  So today out of 18 hours, 6am to midnight,  only 7 hours are simulcast with Buffalo. 
 
Does Spectrum carry the CTV feed when the US show is not simulcast or something like Criminal Minds, Big Bang Theory or Tosh.O  is running late night alone, on CTV?  

Also they sort of make it sound like the issue was with CTV and not on their end, which really isn't the case.  Guess they have something better to fill the channel with, and I am sure Canadian signals aren't a priority.  But still they are taking away something that had a different perspective for the viewer and for those that did watch. It is always interesting to see what the neighbours next door are thinking and up to.

I have met quite a few Americans over the years that seem to like CBC TV and  CTV National News.  I recall years ago CBLFT Radio Canada was carried by cable companies in WNY, and they would even be in the local listing grid.  That one always surprised me.

 

October 20, 2020 10:59 am  #12


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

None of the Verizon FiOS packages offer any of the Canadian stations.  Spectrum cable does have CBC on some of its offerings in Niagara and Erie counties but not all.  When I last had Spectrum, they would block CTV shows if was running on another channel at a different time slot (sometimes replaced with some sort of home shopping thing).

 

October 20, 2020 11:35 am  #13


Re: Turning The Tables: CFTO No Longer On Cable In Western New York

Thanks for the info jt1001001. Didn't know they would block the signal even if the show wasn't a simulcast.