AMC, Rogers and the strangeness of Canadian cable

Before I start, I have to apologize again for all the negativity that poured out of me and into yesterday’s blog post. I’ll try not to do that too often, but I guess sometimes everyone needs a release.

Today (as is the case every Thursday) I have the day off from school. While I was making some lunch, I flicked on the TV and looked to see if anything interesting was on. There wasn’t, but I was quite interested when I scrolled by AMC. Before each and every program description, there was a single line from Rogers: “Rogers has no intention of cancelling AMC.”

This is clearly something Rogers doesn’t do very often, which is use TV program descriptions to comment on real-world happenings. Over the last few days, Canadians watching shows on AMC have been warned that they may, in fact, lose access to award-winning shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead if contract negotiations don’t work out with Rogers.

The deadline, as it so happens, is 11:59 p..m. tonight, Personally for me, losing my ability to watch Mad Men as it happens would be a bit upsetting; after all, I spent last summer and this fall catching up on the series right from the beginning.

Although according to Rogers, we have nothing to worry about, and Rogers has publicly said that they will still show AMC should a contract not be negotiated in time.

AMC is apparently a network that is very intent on being shown in as many places as possible. They apparently also fought with the US-based Dish Network over the same issue.

It made me think about how utterly strange Canadian digital cable is. My family has the Rogers VIP package, with gives us the basic cable channels plus a bunch of extra channels like Bite TV, G4, DIY and numerous others.

It’s a landscape that is constantly, constantly changing. From one week to the next things seem to change, with some channels either dropping from the radar completely or changing its name. More recently, Showcase Diva has become Lifetime, and god knows what else has happened. At some point in time Bite TV was a premium channel, but then it fell in the VIP package. Rogers increasingly seems to imply that Teletoon is a VIP channel now, which is confusing as I grew up watching that station on basic cable.

Rogers’ adding of FX has actually been pretty good for me. It got me into American Horror Story, which is not the greatest show in the world per se but it’s certainly watchable. I also tried to start watching The Americans but physically couldn’t due to a) the late hour I was watching it and b) the physical condition of the episode on Rogers on Demand as the picture and/or sound kept freezing.

My interest has also waned in certain channels, namely G4, which has changed radically from what is used to be. When I first started watching, it had an interesting mix of video game shows, interesting info-clips about various gadgets, even some anime from time to time. It has since lost the majority of its original technology programming (namely X Play and Attack of the Show, both of which went really downhill in quality toward the end of their lifespans) and replaced it with a bunch of really uninteresting content in its place.

And thus ends my TV rambles.

I look forward to tomorrow, where I’ll be going to a sushi place with some friends from my program. We may even start to employ the #JRNsushi hashtag again.

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One thought on “AMC, Rogers and the strangeness of Canadian cable

  1. @Rogers_Chris

    Hi Michael, this is Chris at Rogers. I’m here to share some good news: we’re pleased that we’ve reached an agreement that ensures our customers can continue to enjoy all of the great programming in the AMC line-up. And they’ll be able to watch original AMC programs in HD format as early as end of March, as well as across multiple screens shortly after the TV debut – something we know our customers have been asking for.

    Details on our blog: http://redboard.rogers.com/2013/amc-coming-to-rogers-customers-in-hd/

    Reply

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