Do you remember TV Guide? It’s still around, but it now boasts a circulation of about 1.25 million readers, a far cry from its peak of 20 million readers.
There are reasons why TV viewers don’t need printed listings anymore, but one of the biggest is the Electronic Program Guide that subscribers to Charter Spectrum, TDS, and other cable systems can access. At the click of a button, cable subscribers can not only find out what’s airing now and what’s airing later, but they can also set recordings for shows as well.
Having accurate EPG listings is crucial. Removing the listings means a station is at a distinct disadvantage in attracting viewership simply because viewers won’t know what’s airing when. And forget about setting DVR recordings — how can you record what you don’t know you might want to watch?
Starting in March, TDS is putting Sun Prairie community channels KSUN and KIDS-4 in a disadvantageous position by removing their listings from the EPG.
The Sun Prairie Media Center (SPMC), home to KSUN and KIDS-4, has tried to negotiate with TDS to remain on the EPG, but to no avail. The money TDS is asking for to provide this service may be reasonable for a for-profit station that takes in advertising dollars, but it is not within the scope of the limited budget of non-profit stations like KSUN or KIDS-4.
The SPMC routinely produces about 150 original video programs every month with a small staff and the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers that take SPMC’s mission of educating and informing Sun Prairie seriously. That won’t stop with this action by TDS. In March, SPMC will be covering girls’ and boys’ basketball playoffs, producing forums with aldermanic candidates in the three contested districts, broadcasting unique programs like “Reel Reviews,” “Simply Fun Cooking,” “Inside Your City with Aaron & Chris,” and covering dozens of city meetings to find out what is happening with your tax dollar.
If you’re a TDS customer, we encourage you to stay on top of what SPMC is airing by accessing the program listings at sunprairiemediacenter.com or in this fine newspaper. We also encourage you to contact TDS to ask them to continue to provide this important service to the community.
The SPMC deeply appreciates its support from all of its members, producers, city of Sun Prairie staff and elected officials, and viewers.
Chair, Sun Prairie Media Center Commission