Four foreign stations to be removed in 2020

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 22:45


Four pop­u­lar free to air net­works are ex­pect­ed to be pulled from lo­cal sub­scrip­tion TV broad­cast­ers from Jan­u­ary 1, 2020.

Fans of Fox net­work’s Walk­ing Dead, NBC’s the Voice, Days of Our Lives and Suits, CBS’ NCIS and ABC’s The View and Jim­my Kim­mel may be forced to seek al­ter­na­tive ways to keep up to date with the shows as the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Au­thor­i­ty of T&T is clamp­ing down on ser­vice providers who have not been com­pli­ant with in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights.

Act­ing CEO of TATT, Cyn­thia Red­dock-Downes, said the au­thor­i­ty’s pe­ri­od of for­bear­ance on the trans­mis­sion of for­eign free to air net­works has end­ed.

“We have ad­vised ser­vice providers that from the first of Jan­u­ary 2020 we will be re­quir­ing them to pro­vide their con­tracts for any chan­nels they car­ry and if they car­ry any free to air chan­nels they will be ad­vised they can­not do so,” she said.

Red­dock-Downes said al­though the de­ci­sion by TATT comes in the ab­sence of any re­cent meet­ings with stake­hold­ers, the move is no sur­prise.

“We haven’t had any re­cent meet­ings. We had meet­ings some years ago and we told them about the for­bear­ance pe­ri­od but cer­tain­ly, we had no re­cent meet­ings but they have been no­ti­fied with what is hap­pen­ing.”

In 2015, TATT cut 16 chan­nels af­ter sub­scrip­tion TV providers were not com­pli­ant with in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights. In this case, it ap­pears the Caribbean does not have the rights to broad­cast these free to air sta­tions and the US au­thor­i­ties are clamp­ing down on such ac­tiv­i­ty.

Red­dock-Downes ex­plained that while the move could strike a blow to the prof­itabil­i­ty of op­er­a­tors, she is con­fi­dent they will be able to se­cure oth­er at­trac­tive con­tent.

“Op­er­a­tors have al­ter­na­tives. They may be able to get li­cens­es for in­di­vid­ual pro­gramme con­tent and there­fore show the pro­grammes,” she said.



Image caption: Hosts of the CBS This Morning Show. CBS is one of four US television stations that will be dropped from local cable line-ups from January 1, 2020.