If you’re looking for local programming from your local PBS station, you maybe out of luck. WSEC, the PBS affiliate in Jacksonville is currently not on the air waves if you are a Direct TV subscriber. Dr. Jerold Greubel is the President and CEO of the Knowledge Network and he joined our WLDS “AM Conversation” on Thursday to discuss why they are in the black.
“Direct TV has chosen to temporarily take us off their line up. They have done with public television stations around the country.” said Dr. Greubel. “They were purchased by AT&T and in that consolidation AT&T seems to be on a kick to eliminate any second or third public television systems because it doesn’t make them any money.”
One of the main reasons why Direct TV says they won’t carry WSEC because its signal wasn’t up to the industry standard. Recently, the Jacksonville PBS station installed a new signal but Direct TV won’t change its mind.
“We have had engineers from three different stations monitor and record those signals and we are finding out that subscribers who are missing are programing are being told that we have a signal issue, well we don’t” Dr. Greubel said. “I think the only way we can get back sooner rather than later, is hoping that those who are subscribers to Direct TV call and complain, or they call and complain and tell them they have other options.But I think they have to make it clear that they want their local public television station restored to the line up.”
WSEC has the option to take Direct TV to court and it would challenge the must carry rules. Which states the cable and satellite companies must carry a local station within 50 miles of the signal. Dr. Gruebel says if they were to get the signal back on Direct TV, it could take up to 75 days until subscribers would see their channel.
“It makes no sense to make because they literally can flip a switch or reattach a cable and they would have us on within 5-10 minutes. I don’t think I am exaggerating.” said Dr. Greubel. “Even if they followed protocol, worst case scenario, we would be back on in April.But I think with enough complaints from our viewers, they would probably rush that protocol.”
Dr. Greubel suggests that you call Direct TV at 1-800-531-5000and make sure your voice is heard. If there’s a different number on your bill, Greubel says you may want to call that number as well.