Garrett Wollman wollman@bimajority.org
Sat Oct 20 23:23:01 EDT 2012

<<On Sat, 20 Oct 2012 22:25:41 -0400, Bob Nelson <raccoonradio@gmail.com> said:

> Years ago when staying in the Burlington VT area I would see IDs for
> WVNY-TV 22 and
> it would say "WVNY TV 22, Cable 4" which seemed to be where most cable
> systems placed
> it. The latter not part of an official legal ID of course, more of
> impressing it in people's memories.

The rule in Canada was (and so far as I know still is) that stations
*must not* be placed on the same channel on cable systems as they are
over the air.  In the days of analog cable, there was a lot of
leakage, and broadcast stations (particularly VHF stations), if placed
on their broadcast channels, would receive objectionable ingress
interference from their over-the-air transmitters.  (It worked the
same way here, too, except that some stations could demand to be on
the same channel despite the interference.  In many cases, the
stations were given two analog cable channels -- one for customers
without boxes, with all the ingress, and one for customers with boxes,
which would be remapped to the same number.)  So, in markets with
close-in VHF TV transmitters, typically the VHF cable channels that
corresponded to local broadcast stations would be relegated to
low-value programming like public access, barker channels, and
suchlike.  Another cable channel with a similar issue was channel 19,
where many VHF two-way operators were licensed; when I lived in
downtown Burlington, channel 19 had severe interference from the taxi
stand just down the block from my apartment.  (So of course Adelphia
put CBMT on that channel, figuring that there were not enough of us
complaining about the interference to matter to their bottom line.
They had previously been on channel 6, but were "kicked upstairs"
during a reshuffle in the early 1990s.)

There are a number of U.S. stations which identify exclusively by
their cable channel position; KNSD in San Diego is a notable one.

On the Canadian side, it was very common for stations to identify with
both broadcast and cable position; "CFCF 12, cable 11" is burned into
my memory.  And of course Global chose CIII-TV for their nominal
Ontario flagship in reference to its cable channel position in most of
the province -- the actual broadcast channel for the main transmitter
(at Paris, Ontario) was 6.  (It's still on channel 6 there, but
CIII-DT-41 in Toronto is now the licensed primary station.)


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