Comcast will be dropping a Fox affiliate channel beginning Oct. 29 — but no fear, you will still get your American Idol and football games.
Comcast released this statement in a press release last week:
In outer regions of the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto DMA (Tracy, Fairfield, Vacaville, Travis Air Force Base, Rio Vista, Yuba City), our cable system has been carrying two Fox affiliates (the local Fox station for the market - KTXL-TV, Fox 40 from Sacramento; and KTVU-TV, Fox 2 from San Francisco) that broadcast the same Fox national content.
As a general rule, the Fox broadcast network currently restricts Fox affiliated stations’ from being carried on cable systems outside their local market. As a result, on or around October 29, 2013, Comcast plans to cease carriage of KTVU, Fox 2 in Tracy, Fairfield, Vacaville, Travis Air Force Base, Rio Vista, and Yuba City. Viewers in those areas will continue to have access to Fox network programming on Sacramento affiliate KTXL, Fox 40.
Questions and Answers
1. Does this mean I won’t be able to watch American Idol or San Francisco 49ers football games?
No. Both of those programs, and many others, are Fox network programming and will continue to be available on KTXL, Fox 40.
2. How can I continue to watch news from the San Francisco Bay Area?
Viewers can visit KTVU’s website at http://www.ktvu.com/ or download the KTVU app to continue to access KTVU news. The site features videos of major stories, as well as written stories.
3. How will Comcast notify customers?
Comcast will notify local customers via bill messages and scrolling messages at the bottom of affected TV channels.
4. Is dropping duplicative channels a new Comcast strategy?
No. Comcast has ceased carrying duplicative stations in the past. Two years ago, Comcast ceased carrying the duplicative San Francisco ABC affiliate (KGO-TV, ABC 7) in these same markets.
5. What will customers in affected areas see when they tune to the channel where KTVU, Fox 2 used to be?
After 11:59 pm on October 28, 2013, customers will see a slate notice directing them to their in-market FOX affiliate – KTXL, Fox 40.
6. The two affiliates carry the same three hours of Fox prime time programming, but have different programming the rest of the time. How I can access all of the other content?
The vast majority of the remaining programming is syndicated and already airs on other stations in your DMA.
7. Vacaville and Fairfield are basically the same distance from San Francisco as they are from Sacramento. Why wouldn’t the eliminated station be KXTL, Fox 40?
Comcast does not define the television market. The boundaries for television markets, or “DMAs” (Designated Market Areas), are set by Nielsen Media Research and utilized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Even though affected areas may feel like they belong to a different DMA, we have to abide by the official DMA boundaries.