FOX Staying but Not Free Over-the-Air HD FOX

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

Some changes for viewers who use antennas

We have some bad news for folks who enjoy watching FOX Parkersburg free, over-the-air via an antenna in HIGH DEFINITION.

Starting almost immediately, WTAP will no longer be permitted to send out FOX’s signal in High Definition to our over-the-air viewers. This will NOT affect our free, over-the-air regular FOX signal, our FOX signal on cable channel 14, or our FOX HD signal offered through CAS and Suddenlink cable. Those will continue as usual.
This ONLY affects FOX Parkersburg’s free, over-the-air HIGH DEFINITION signal.
This is NOT a WTAP decision. It is a FOX decision.
For the past four years, WTAP has been able to pick and choose which of its stations it could send out over-the-air, in HD or SD. We can only send out one HD signal over-the-air at a time. If one station had sports and the other had drama, we would put the station with sports in HD and the one with the drama in SD.
We did this to try to make everyone happy. Well, you know what they say about that. It’s impossible.
In this case, it was FOX who was un-happy because they couldn’t have it all.
FOX said we either have to give them our entire signal (which would mean eliminating our over-the-air NBC and MyNetwork broadcasts altogether) or not show FOX free, over-the-air in HD ever again. We’re not about to eliminate our NBC and MyNetwork signals, so we have no choice but to take FOX down to regular or “standard definition” for over-the-air viewing.
That’s no big deal for most people but it is for our HD customers.
So our FOX Parkersburg station will continue to be available free, over-the-air on channel 15-point-2, but just not in High Definition. Cable customers will continue to enjoy our FOX Parkersburg station on channel 14 or elsewhere, just like always. Customers of CAS or Suddenlink Cable, who subscribe to the local HD tier of channels, will still be able to see FOX Parkersburg in HD.
Just no more FOX High Definition, free, over-the-air.
Just one more example of the old saying:  “No Good Deed Goes Un-Punished.”
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by george Location: vienna on Aug 20, 2010 at 05:02 AM
    The elimination of any fox signal is viewed as an improvement in viewing quality by many persons,hd or otherwise.
  • by Roger Location: WTAP on Jul 23, 2010 at 05:59 PM
    ViennaGuy: Not only would it be incredibly expensive to buy a separate transmitter and put up a separate antenna, we'd have to seek an additional license from the FCC or buy a license from someone else who already holds one. So, yes it would be very cost-prohibitive to do this, even if the FCC were to say "yes." Thanks for writing!
  • by ViennaGuy Location: Vienna on Jul 19, 2010 at 08:59 AM
    Roger, that's a rotten decision on the part of FOX. I enjoyed getting Fox Parkersburg over-the-air in HD ... it saved me from having to subscribe to it over DirecTV(I'm not able to get a Dish signal because of the neighbor's trees). Would it be too expensive to have FOX Parkersburg on its own channel, rather than the 15.2 subchannel?
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