Cable company changes channels Prestige offers cheaper service

October 21, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Prestige Cable TVStaff Writer

Don't be surprised if tuning into Channel 12 this morning brings you "Alvin and the Chipmunks" rather than the "Pink Panther." Or that Channel 6 this afternoon gives you "Designing Women" rather than a tennis match.

Prestige Cablevision has reorganized its channel lineup to accommodate a new, lower-priced group of channels. And the cable stations ACTS and VISN have combined to become one channel.

"Cable companies don't like to do this very often," said Bill Bethune, Prestige's general manager. "People get used to ESPN being on Channel 6. It becomes a way of life."

In response to community requests, the company decided to offer a 20-channel Lifeline service for $9.95 per month in addition to the $21.50-a-month, 40-channel basic service in August.

The new Lifeline service offers all the network shows, community access channels and Prestige's local programming on Channel 3.

"When we decided to offer a lower tier of service, those channels had to be in an order," said Mr. Bethune. "Channels that were in other places had to be put on that tier, and some of those who owned Channels 2 through 20 had to give them up."

Only about 15 channels remain as they were, he said.

RTC Company officials tried to put the channels in a logical order, he said. All of the music channels, such as MTV, VH1 and the Nashville Network, have been grouped together.

In addition, premium and pay-per-view channels were placed between the lifeline and basic sets, giving subscribers access to the premium channels without having to buy the entire package.

"A lot of other companies have what they call a buy through," Mr. Bethune said. "They make you buy the full service before you can get pay channels or pay-per-view.

"We wanted to allow people with the low tier and with a converter to be able to order pay-per-view, and have a pay channel if they wanted to, and not have to buy the rest of the basic service."

To do that without moving the channels, Prestige would have had to buy an electronic trap that blocks specific channels that subscribers have not purchased, he said.

"It would be pretty tough to do, and expensive," Mr. Bethune said. "Traps that screen out specific channels cost a lot of money."

The company had to rewire equipment and purchase satellite receivers and modulators to complete the switch. The new equipment was not delivered until last week, further delaying the change.

"We were ready to do it on Oct. 1," said Mr. Bethune. "We just had two or three pieces of equipment we were waiting on."

The final transfer went smoothly early yesterday, he said. Prestige employees began switching the channels at midnight and were done at 8:30 a.m.

The ACTS and VISN channels merged a few weeks ago, Mr. Bethune said. The combination of the two religious channels was initiated by the company and not Prestige, he said.

PRESTIGE CABLE CHANGES CHANNELS

Station of service.. .. .. .. ..Old number.. .. .. ..New number

Preview guide.. .. .. .. .. .. ...2.. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2

Prestige Cablevision.. .. .. .. ..3.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..3

WRC (NBC) Washington.. .. .. .. ..4.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..4

WTTG (FOX) Washington.. .. .. .. .5 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .5

ESPN.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...6.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .41

WJLA (ABC) Washington.. .. .. .. .7.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..7

QVC Shopping.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .8.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..8

WUSA (CBS) Washington.. .. .. .. .9.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..9

WMPT (Public) Baltimore.. .. .. .10.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .10

WBAL (CBS) Baltimore.. .. .. .. .11.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .11

TNT.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...12.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .39

WJZ (ABC) Baltimore.. .. .. .. ..13.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .13

WMAR (NBC) Baltimore.. .. .. .. .14.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .14

CNBC.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..15.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .58

Movie Previews .. .. .. .. .. ...16.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .16

WTBS (Independent) Atlanta.. .. .17.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .38

Cable News Network.. .. .. .. ...18.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .48

Headline News.. .. .. .. .. .. ..19.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .49

C-Span.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...20.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .57

Weather Channel.. .. .. .. .. ...21.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .56

Lifetime.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ....22.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .50

USA Network.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .23.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .46

WETA (Public) Washington.. .. ...24.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .17

Nickelodeon.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .25.. .. .. .. .. .. . ...51

Inspirational Network.. .. .. ...26 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...55

Family Channel.. .. .. .. .. .. .27.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .47

Nashville Network.. .. .. .. .. .28.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .45

Arts & Entertainment.. .. .. .. .29.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .54

Music Television...... .. .. .. .30.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .42

WBFF (FOX) Baltimore... .. .. ...31.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 12

WDCA (Independent) Washington.. .32.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..6

WNUV (Independent) Baltimore.. ..33.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .15

WPIX (Independent) New York.. .. 34.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .37

Discovery Channel.. .. .. .. ....35.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .40

Video Hits 1.. .. .. .. .. .. ...36.. .. .. .. .. .. . ..43

Country Music Television.. .. ...37.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .44

Viewer Choice.. .. .. .. .. .. ..38 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 25

Request TV.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..39 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..26

Home Box Office.. .. .. .. .. ...40.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .29

Cinemax.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..41.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .30

The Movie Channel.. .. .. .. .. .42.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .31

Showtime .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...43.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .32

Disney Channel.. .. .. .. .. .. .44.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .33

Home Team Sports .. .. .. .. ....45.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .35

Playboy.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..46.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .34

Carroll Community College .. .. .50.. .. .. .. .. .. ....18

E! Entertainment TV.. .. .. .. ..51 .. .. .. .. .. .. ...52

American Movie Classics.. .. ....52.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .53

Community Access TV.. .. .. .. ..55.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .19

ACTS.. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .60.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .20

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.