Time Warner Giveth, Time Warner Taketh Away

The Houston Chronicle reported today that there will be changes in the Time Warner cable television offerings, as that company completes its transition to Comcast. Seems the cable giant is dropping a few channels (Family Network, CCTV-9, Lifetime Real Women and Encore Drama/True Stories and Encore WAM), upgrading a few others from standard to digital (Shop NBC, Lifetime Movie Net, TV Guide Channel and Discovery Health), and adding three entertainment channels. It's those entertainment channels we're interested in. One is a music video channel from KHCW Channel 39's The Tube and one is V-me, a Spanish-language channel connected to PBS. Both of those start April 19. The third channel being added is LATV, a bilingual music and entertainment network affliliated with the local NBC channel, Channel 2.

A music channel from The Tube. Ah, is that going to be Tom Jones videos? The Tube says it brings viewers shows they "love and remember," as in oldies TV, so will their music videos be for an adult middle-of-the-road audience or at a younger, not-too-Tube-friendly audience?

LATV might not have it much easier. Bilingual music and entertainment sounds great. With some Spanish and some English, it should appeal to the whole family, right? Wrong. Young people, even recent immigrants, prefer their entertainment in English with just a couple of Spanish words thrown in for flavor. Adults over 30 prefer mono-lingual programming, either English or Spanish, but not both. At least not at the same time. Look at Mun2 and VHUno. Both have much lower ratings than their English-language counterparts.

So we'll be watching when The Tube's music video channel and LATV debut later this month. Here's hoping we like what we see. - OFA

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