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Thread: Cable stations we need/don't need

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Cable stations we need/don't need

    Alright, I'll brand myself once and for all as being a terminal freak - I CONFESS I DO NOT HAVE CABLE. Yes, I am one of the four remaining people in the US that doesn't have cable. The reason I mention this is that when I do get a chance to watch cable tv it's a real novelty for me and I am fascinated by the variety and specialization of channels out there. Most of them I would consider completely worthless, but fascinating nonetheless (hey, who doesn't stare at a traffic accident). They have a channel devoted to nothing but soap operas, one for nothing but westerns, there's a sci-fi channel, a cartoon network, and a dozen home shopping channels.

    I guess if there's a niche market or interest nowadays, there's a good chance there will be a cable channel to cover it. I'm surprised there isn't a channel devoted exclusively to anime, or how about a 'goth' channel (I wonder what kind of programming they would have, hour long segment featuring nothing but New Order videos?), a slot car channel, a religious channel that features nothing but religious ceremonies (close up on the bishop chewing the body of Christ like a cow's cud), or I know, how about the beer channel. It's programming would feature segments appealing to the whole beer spectrum from highbrow talk shows where the prissy affected host donning a turtleneck gushes on about the 'je ne sais quois' of a particular beligian ale would be followed by the 22nd annual forehead can crushing competition in Pittsburgh.

    What cable channels do you think the world needs? Which ones don't you think we need?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    How about a channel that promotes city living. I'm not talking about an expose on the Travel Channel. Every hour a different city. It can highlight what different cities are doing, hot shot planners, architects, developers, city administrators. Besides, it would be a lot cheaper for me to pay for Comcast and watch the CITY Channel than go to the APA Conference.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Every heterosexual male out there knows exactly what kind of basic cable TV station should be on the air but isn't.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by the north omaha star
    How about a channel that promotes city living. I'm not talking about an expose on the Travel Channel. Every hour a different city. It can highlight what different cities are doing, hot shot planners, architects, developers, city administrators. Besides, it would be a lot cheaper for me to pay for Comcast and watch the CITY Channel than go to the APA Conference.
    That's actually a good idea. On a semi-related note I once heard there was a radio station in the Wash DC area that targeted federal employees as their niche market. They have segments on all things related to being a federal drone....talk shows about insurance benefits, retirement etc.. I also heard this station enjoys high ratings.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    That's actually a good idea. On a semi-related note I once heard there was a radio station in the Wash DC area that targeted federal employees as their niche market. They have segments on all things related to being a federal drone....talk shows about insurance benefits, retirement etc.. I also heard this station enjoys high ratings.
    Sounds a little like the one American channel you get to watch when stationed in Germany.


    Not exactly. There's movies and stuff too. But all the "commercials" are things about Space A travel, etc.

  6. #6
    Utter Garbage:

    WB
    E!
    Lifetime
    MTV
    FOX News
    CMT

    Mostly garbage, but occasionally one or two good shows:

    Family
    Nickelodian
    TLC

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    We forced my grandparents to get dish network. My dad and his bros/sisters paid for a year-long subscription. As expected, the weather channel is almost always the only network on.

    I could live without many.

    I like:
    Nick
    Nicktoons
    discovery science (The Science Channel)
    History (sometimes, too much war stuff)
    TLC
    Discovery
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Utter Garbage:

    WB
    E!
    Lifetime
    MTV
    FOX News
    CMT
    Agreed...

    I'll tack on VH1 since I don't remember the last time they played a video.

    I have four home shopping channels and I'm not on digital cable or satellite. I would prefer none, but will settle for one.

    Lifetime Movie Channel (no joke, we actually have that in our standard package)

    PAX
    UPN
    WGN

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    My coworkers just made some horrific suggestions: the 'emo' channel (what kinda programming might they have?) or worse yet the 'chess' channel ......I can just hear the color commentary "Stokosky is leading very agressively and trading material generously for that crucial center board position..OH, it looks like Borovich just placed a knight fork on a center square! Will Stokosky swap pawns for position or counter with his bishop on B3? Folks, the tension in the room could be cut with a knife....and now a word from our sponsor Duffy's felt chess piece pads..."
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10

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    I don't have cable (or the equivalent over here); I'd like it but can't get it. I can't get 'Freeview' (cable/digital TV through the aerial) because I live in an area too remote for the transmitter, and I can't get satellite because I live in a listed building and satellite dishes generally aren't allowed on them.

    If I did have it then my needs would be few; a football (soccer) channel showing lower league football, and a music channel which didn't have adverts every quarter of an hour.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    My one TV "addiction": HGTV. But it is an intermittent thing. Sometimes, I watch it a lot and sometimes not at all. Like I watched it a lot in Washington, then moved to the Mojave Desert, where we didn't have it.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I live in university housing so the channels I get are handpicked by the university. I get about 55 channels. Although the channels in the 40s seem to be in all foreign programming.

    C-Span - I'm sure its wonderfully educational but its about the most boring thing I've ever seen.

    TLC- Seems to be dominated by home makeover shows

    Discovery- Seems to be dominated by Orange County Choppers and take offs of it

    History- Seems a bit preoccupied with WWII

    HBO- I get about six, sometimes they'll play a movie I want to watch, and its home to the Sopranos, as well as some decent documentaries. Only complaint is they'll play the same movies too many times. I'm not sure if I would actually pay for this if I had a choice.

    ESPN, Fox Sports, MSG, YES - not a big sports fan, and the demographics here lean toward NYC sports so I don't really watch these.

    LIfetime- I'll watch Unsolved Mysteries, but the rest is junk.

    TBS- Sitcom reruns, you can never get enough Seinfeld!

    USA- Not sure if I've ever watched this.

    Comedy Central- One of my favorites. South Park and the Daily Show are some of the funniest things on TV right now.

    Cartoon - I'll watch Family Guy reruns, never saw much in the rest of their lineup

    MTV- I'll watch it if I'm bored, most of their programming is junk.

    Food- Its like eating without the calories!

    MTV2- Seems to be playing more reality shows. Maybe you have to get MTV3 for videos?

  13. #13
    Member Jeff_Rosenberg's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    My one TV "addiction": HGTV.
    HGTV is HUGE right now! Where did that come from?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    When I lived in DC there was a space channel. I'm not sure what it was supposed to be, but it was just a mostly static satellite image of the earth. Every few minutes it would change. I never understood who the hell would watch it.

  15. #15
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist
    When I lived in DC there was a space channel. I'm not sure what it was supposed to be, but it was just a mostly static satellite image of the earth. Every few minutes it would change. I never understood who the hell would watch it.
    That's not something you watch in a normal state of mind... if you get my drift!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Did anyone here have cable in the 1970s? Did you have a station that showed nothing but an analog clock and thermometer? What about the channel playing rock, but displaying a moving psychedelic kaleidoscopic image?

    I've seen a ton of strange cable channels come and go. In Kansas City, there was one channel on one of the higher tiers that just showed rabbis arguing with each other, in Russian to boot. That lasted about a week, and then poof! It was gone. The cable system in Cleveland has a channel that's devoted to storefront church services. Camera shake, 60 cycle hums, washed out audio ... it's all there.

    Time-Warner in Kansas City has a channel devoted to local high school sports.

    The NASA channel is popular in areas where there are a lot of aeronautic and space geeks. It was on a low channel on the Las Cruces cable systenm when I lived there.

    Anyone here get SCOLA? It airs nothing but nightly newscasts from around the world; cool to watch, but the PAL to NTSC conversion equipment the channel uses is terrible; video quality is about the same as watching a tape on a 20 year ofd VCR that's never been cleaned.

    There's some interesting stations on the Dish Network when you tune up in the thousands. There's a rural lifestyle channel, with shows about horses, antique tractor restoration, fence building and the like. There are several university network channels. Colours is weird; the theme of most programming seems to be racial diversity, but from a "white man's guilt" perspective. Mun2 is a Spanglish MTV clone. There's also a few horse racing channels, like what you would see if you're in a Vegas book. There's also El Guapo's favorite channel, CCTV9.. The Free Speech Channel is supposed to be a liberal station, but it seemed aimed at the far-left Pacifica Radio crowd.

    The reformulated MTV 2 seems to be the emo channel.

    What isn't out there that would be marketable? IMHO:

    * A gay/lesbian channel - but without programming that would seem stereotypical (broadway musicials, beefcake contests, Dutch women's rugby, and so on).
    * A gaming channel; Vegas travelogues, poker tournaments, and so on. There's the Golf Channel, after all, and I know far more people are into gambling and poker.
    * A non-Christian religious channel.
    * An all-Canadian channel (for the US) - curling, bowling with softball-sized balls, Canadian network television shows, Rush concerts, and the like.
    * A replacement for the beloved Tech TV.
    * 1970s and 1980s theme channels, airing television shows from just that era, good and bad. Reruns of Hello Larry!

    What I'd like to see, but will probably never hit the airwaves:

    * Univision en Englais. Giant Saturday!
    * REAL BBC, complete with Open University, Smart Spenders, To Buy or Not to Buy, lottery draws, sheepdog competitions, snooker, and other great quirky British programming we don't see on BBC America.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Maister,

    You are not alone, my friend. My wife and I actively refuse to get cable because it is way too expensive and is mostly crap and commerical (which are sometimes better than the actual programming).

    We are lucky because here, in the center of Chicagoland, we get all the major and some minor, networks over the air. In addition to 3 PBS stations.

    Though, I would probably change my mind about having cable if they developed an "a la carte" format. You could choose only the channels you want and only pay for each one at a discrete price.

    I could understand someone wanting cable if one lived in a boring or isolated place like the exurbs or some such (sorry small, boring places), but living in by Chicagoland, I think it would be an absolute waste to spend some much time indoors watching the tube. There's too much else to do here.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    * An all-Canadian channel (for the US) - curling, bowling with softball-sized balls, Canadian network television shows, Rush concerts, and the like.
    YES! and the old Molson commercials with Bob and Doug Mackenzie interviewing Guy LaFleur.
    Don't forget about Hockey Night in Canada and the Trailer Park Boys!


    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    * Univision en Englais. Giant Saturday!
    Sabado Gigante is on the local channels from Denver. I used to watch it with friends in HS. Typical HOTT Hispanic woman and old, fat (gordo) greying cohost ALA the guys from Los Del Mar (Macarena)

    ....Maybe I know too much about Latin TV...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  19. #19
    The only thing I would like is the ability to have Spanish news captioned in English. Though that would seriously interfere with my language acquisition.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Maister,

    You are not alone, my friend. My wife and I actively refuse to get cable because it is way too expensive and is mostly crap and commerical (which are sometimes better than the actual programming).

    We are lucky because here, in the center of Chicagoland, we get all the major and some minor, networks over the air. In addition to 3 PBS stations.

    Though, I would probably change my mind about having cable if they developed an "a la carte" format. You could choose only the channels you want and only pay for each one at a discrete price.

    I could understand someone wanting cable if one lived in a boring or isolated place like the exurbs or some such (sorry small, boring places), but living in by Chicagoland, I think it would be an absolute waste to spend some much time indoors watching the tube. There's too much else to do here.
    I never had cable growing up. I felt like I was missing out on something. Now that I have cable (that I don't pay for) I realize most of it is junk. There is actually very little I care about watching. Much of what I watch is because I'm bored or too lazy to do something requireing more effort, also TV helps me fall asleep.

  21. #21
    Member Jeff_Rosenberg's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Maister,

    You are not alone, my friend. My wife and I actively refuse to get cable because it is way too expensive and is mostly crap and commerical (which are sometimes better than the actual programming).

    We are lucky because here, in the center of Chicagoland, we get all the major and some minor, networks over the air. In addition to 3 PBS stations.

    Though, I would probably change my mind about having cable if they developed an "a la carte" format. You could choose only the channels you want and only pay for each one at a discrete price.

    I could understand someone wanting cable if one lived in a boring or isolated place like the exurbs or some such (sorry small, boring places), but living in by Chicagoland, I think it would be an absolute waste to spend some much time indoors watching the tube. There's too much else to do here.
    I agree entirely. Actually, in my apartment, I can only get one channel. I had to festoon the room with tinfoil to watch the 2004 election.

    My friends comment that I always seem to be able to get more done than they do . . . I chalk it up to TV (or lack thereof)

  22. #22
    FOX news-
    The 2 or 3 shopping channels we get
    TLC-used to be good, but got caught in the twilight zone of home improvement, etc.
    WGN- used to be the only source of Cubs games, but they seem to have lost the broadcast rights. Now just reruns of old tv shows and movies. By-the-by- who now is airing the Cubs games?

    In defence of the discovery channel-they do have Mythbusters on Wednesday night. The rest of the time, it's pretty much a waste

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I really like the home improvement shows on the BBC. But not enough to pay for the extra tier of service.

    We have the basic service and one additional tier so I can have HGTV.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Absolutely necessary:
    espn
    espn2
    espnews
    Fox Sports Net

    you get the picture.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  25. #25
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    * A gaming channel; Vegas travelogues, poker tournaments, and so on. There's the Golf Channel, after all, and I know far more people are into gambling and poker.
    I'd watch it.

    Stations I like:

    TBS (for the sitcom reruns)
    NESN (New England Sports Network....Red Sox & Bruins games)
    NFL Network
    Discovery
    Travel (for the WPT)

    Stations I could lose:

    Any shopping network
    Lifetime
    We
    HGTV
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

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