In places like San Diego they did have a desirable VHF channel available in another country (this case Mexico).
Was there a rule that prevented the networks from affiliating with a non American station. I believe XETV6 has since affiliated with Fox.
So why did they Big Three chose a UHF channel instead. ABC must have not liked 39 since they dumped it on NBC so to speak.
Could you do it from Canada say in Detroit, if Channel 9 opened up. Since CBS got stuck with 62 (or something high end I believe)
In my childhood, while riding up to Toronto from Buffalo, I noticed that all the houses we passed had extremely tall antenna support towers. The Yagis were all pointed towards Buffalo. All the electronics stores on Younge Street had their televisions tuned to Buffalo stations. A Buffalo- area urban legend described how in Toronto, WKBW’s Eyewitness News had higher ratings than any of the Toronto market newscasts, and that Irv Weinstein was a cult figure among teenagers.
You would think that if Toronto’s television stations were permitted to become U.S. network affiliates, they would have jumped at the chance, to stop “cross-border viewing.”
The CRTC (Canada’s equivalent of the FCC) doesn’t allow Canadian cable systems to air MTV, ESPN, HBO, or other U.S. cable networks, I believe. Consider that this it the country that requires all rock radio stations to play 33% Rush, Triumph and Moxy Fruvous. There’s absolutely no way the CRTC would allow a Canadian station to become an affiliate of a U.S. network.
As a follow-up to my own post, the Fox and UPN affiliates in Buffalo air plenty of Canadian market commercials – you’ll see more plugs for Future Shop than Best Buy, more infomercials for new subdivisions in Mississauga than Buffalo MLS listings, and promos from “Your Southern Ontario Ford Dealers” instead of “Your Western New York and Northeast Pennsylvania Ford Dealers” If anything, the situation you describe is flipped on the North Coast.
I live in El Paso, and lately we have had some talk about our finacially troubled CBS affiliate becoming a TV Azteca (a Mexican network) affiliate of some sort. The sale didn’t go through, I am not sure if it was because of the FCC, or financial reasons.
And one of the stations over in Juarez, Mexico are affiliated to Telemundo, a Spanish language - but American owned - network.
There is a bit of grumbling about how Spanish stations have steadily replaced English stations on the airwaves here, but the truth is we are not a large and rich enough market to support 4 or 5 major American affiliates, while on the Mexican side, more and more people get TV sets with every passing year.
And local advertising and programming on stations from both sides target people on both sides of the border.
There are several radio stations that are based on the Mexican side that target an American or English speaking audience. But they have Mexican call letters, and abide by various Mexican broadcasting conventions (broadcasts of presidential State of the Union adresses, Sunday night and holiday govt. programming, and the Mexican national anthem at either midnight or at the opening and closing of the broadcast day). I suppose a television affiliate would do the same sort of thing if it were based in Mexico, even if it mainly broadcast in English.
Tico Rico … muy dinero …
Anyhow, I lived in southern New Mexico about ten years ago, and the situation wasn’t too much different. Las Cruces got a new independent television station (KZIA); after a couple of years, it went Spanish. The selection of radio stations from El Paso left a lot to be desired; there was a classic rock station, a couple of country stations, a couple of religious stations, a soft rock outlet, a public radio station. The 25 to 30 remaining stations broadcasted in Spanish. Last time I visited, there was one FM station (KINT?) that broadcasted in rapidfire Spanglish, and an English AOR outlet on one of the Juarez blowtorches. Las Cruces has about 10 commercial radio stations (and a great NPR affiliate), alll broadcasting in English.
Why have English TV stations failed in El Paso? Cosnider the demographics – 70% Hispanic in El Paso, 100% in Juarez, and geographic isolation that makes knowledge of English unnecessary for survival or economic prosperity. There’s a disproportionately large amount of lower income Spanish speakers; they can’t afford cable. Thus, cable is the domain of the English speakers; over-the-air broadcasts are in the Spanish realm, and the “K” stations sound more like “X” outlets.
El Paso is also quite poor, and television stations in that market don’t generate the revenue of stations in a similarly sized market in other cities; consider that local newscasts and commercials have the production values of City Council broadcasts on cable public access. It costs a lot to be a CBS affiliate, very little to be affiliated with a TV Azteca, and there’s a potentially greater audience with the latter. Thus, you’re probably gonna’ see the Dallas or Albuquerque CBS affiliate on your cable system in the near future.