There is a bit of discrimination going on right now in broadcast TV. For a number of years now, digital sub channels have been part of the broadcast TV environment. According to federal law, all TV broadcasts have to be in a digital format. This has brought about a very interesting consequence. TV broadcasters are now allowed to split up their broadcast signals so that they can now over more than one programming stream over this split channel. So, a channel can have, say, 11.1 and 11.2 and other the main network affiliate over one programming stream over one and another programming stream over another.
There are specialized channels that have come about that are primarily meant to be shown over these digital sub channels. A couple of the main channels for this are owned by Weigel Broadcasting. These are MeTV, a classic TV channel and ThisTV, which is primarily a free movie channel.
Three printed sources for TV broadcast and cable sources list absolutely no programming information, even for prime time for digital sub channels. The three printed sources were USA Today, The Fargo Forum, and TV Guide.
TV Guide and USA TODAY, which are the same listings, prime time TV listing list the three major broadcast networks, Fox, the national PBS feed, Ion, and Univision. They carry a couple more, and here’s the interesting thing about these listings, they provide listings for The CW and MyTV, which are both often used as programming streams for digital sub channels.
A much more fair representation of a printed version of the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead TV market would include several things that it doesn’t right now. It would include its listings for the four major network affiliates” ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. It would also have its current listing for the CW and the local MyTV affiliate, KCPM. But in addition to its coverage for Prairie Public Television’s main channel, it should also include listings for Prairie Public’s three digital sub channels and also for MeTV, which is carried on a local digital sub channel.
The national listings also need to be similarly expansive. Since the Public TV network is carried by numerous local public TV outlets its listings should be included also. They should also carry some of the major digital sub channels, as they are carried on numerous cable outlets.
Listings like this would give a better representation of today’s TV environment.