Monday, January 31, 2005

SPIKE TV GETS TO STAY IN CANUCKISTAN

The problem with having a CRTC around is that you have all these broadcasters out there who think they can use it and abuse it, and get the CRTC to take competing broadcast stations off the air that have every right to stay in Canada. Like, Spike TV for example.

Spike TV, of course, used to be known as TNN: The Nashville Network, and it was allowed into Canada to provide country music programming as a "specialty" service. The problem was that it made no money in the United States as a "specialty" service and was eventually sold off to Viacom, who turned it into TNN: The National Network and turned the whole lineup over to junk reruns like Starsky and Hutch and the Dukes of Hazzard. Basically, it was no longer a specialty service at all, just another rerun cable channel like the rest of them in the 'States. (In fact I think "specialty channel" is a Canadian term- they call them "cable channels" in the States, because they specialize in nothing. TBS and USA and TNT all show reruns and movies. That's it. There's nothing "special" about them at all.)

Recently TNN changed its name to Spike TV and announced they were now programming to guys and showing reruns of VIP starring Pam Anderson. In fact, it seems as if their entire lineup consists of Pam Anderson. Anyway, a few other broadcasters got upset and tried to take advantage of the situation and get Spike TV tossed off the air, claiming that Spike TV was no longer what it once was and was now too much like their own crappy channels.

On the one hand, they're right: Spike TV sure does run the same crappy programs the rest of them do. But that's no reason to toss it from cable TV. The good news is the CRTC decided to keep Spike TV on your cable dial. So don't worry, Pam fans, you'll still get your Spike TV.

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In other news the TV networks are all done covering the Iraqi election and are all disappointed because it wasn't the debacle they all hoped it would be, and the anchors are returning from Jordan or wherever they were kooped up covering the historic election. Now things are back to normal in the TV news biz: everyone has dumped the Iraq story to cover Michael Jackson. Today they started jury selection for his big molestation trial.

And TVNewser got a new look today. Check it out.

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