gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


WPBS-TV to disappear from Rogers Ottawa

July 17, 2009 @ 17:52 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

WPBS-logonew03 Like many people in Ottawa, I have watched WPBS-TV from Watertown, NY,  on Rogers cable over the years. CBC has a story on their website about Rogers’ decision to replace the Watertown public television broadcaster with the PBS station in Detroit, effective August 18th. According to the story, WPBS only learned of this decision when an Ottawa viewer emailed them. WPBS’s website has an urgent message to their viewers about this.

20% of WPBS’ viewers are based in Eastern Ontario and those 20% contribute 70% of the money they raise through their funding drives. So, being pulled from Rogers Ottawa is going to have a serious impact on their fund raising.

According to the customer service rep I talked to at Rogers when I called to voice my feelings, they made this decision based on comments received over the last few years that people want PBS Detroit because it has a digital signal. She also told me that she’s been receiving a lot of calls from people who are unhappy with this decision, which she has been relaying to her management.

I asked if they couldn’t just assign it a new channel slot instead of removing it completely, but all she could say is that she has been passing questions like these upwards. Incidentally, if you have a digital cable box, you already have access to the Detroit PBS station on channel 163.

If you’re upset about this decision, the best thing you can do is let Rogers know ASAP. You can reach them by phone at 1-888-764-3771 or through their website at http://www.rogers.com/contactus. If enough people complain, they might just reconsider their decision.

5 Responses to “WPBS-TV to disappear from Rogers Ottawa”

  1. Judy Filipkowski says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve just submitted a complaint to Rogers about PBS Watertown pointing out that we need to support locally. Many from Upstate New York visit Ottawa for skiing and shopping. We visit there for fishing and shopping.
    This whole concept is crazy!
    Thanks for your site.

  2. John says:

    PLEASE join the following Facebook group if you can:


    And PLEASE spread the word to all supporters–on both sides of the border.

    I have just started this group, so am very, very open to any and all suggestions and input.

    Thanks so much.



  3. Stan Fockner says:

    Rogers has offered me two digital boxes and their VIP package at no extra cost for one year in hope I will stop complaining about their decision.

  4. Mike Harrop says:

    I’ve just seen the posting from Lynn Brown (WPBS) advising that Rogers have informed them they will not reverse their decision. Another disgraceful move by Rogers who have exhibited srious ditain for their customers over the years.

    I can’t believe that the CRTC would let Rogers move PBS from basic cable. Perhaps it’s because its a US station and the CRTC just doesn’t care. But it’s not just WPBS. They are also moving Vision to the digital package. In otherwords, those who do not currently have digital will have to fork out up to $40 a month plus the cost of digital boxes just to keep getting PBS and Vision. It’s a disgrace.

    What are our options now? Apparently it is possible to receive WPSB with a specialized antenna or you can switch to Bell (it’s cheaper but you still get the Detroit station and Bell’s customer service is no better than Rogers.)

    What else can we do? Lobby the CRTC? our local politicians?

    There must be quite a lot of us who are very unhappy about this right now but how do we focus that anger to make something happen?

  5. Stan says:

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2003/db2003-579.htm is the 2003 CRTC decision that says, in part, a substitute PBS channel can be offered if the program line-up of WPBS is matched. Programming is, after all, the reason why Ottawa residents support WPBS.


  1. gordon.dewis.ca | Rogers attempts to assuage Ottawa PBS viewers but fails (July 24, 2009 @ 16:02)
  2. gordon.dewis.ca | Rogers reconsiders: WPBS staying in Ottawa (July 30, 2009 @ 13:17)

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