.

NHPTV Merger Forces Comcast Lineup Changes

Due to defunding by the state, NH Public TV and WGBH will partner; changes to channel lineup start Oct. 8.

Public television fans: Changes are coming to your Comcast cable TV lineup, starting Oct. 8.

As framed by NH Public Television in a press release, its new status as an "independent, community-licensed public broadcaster," means it has formed a new partnership with Boston affiliate, WGBH, to continue broadcasting its regular programming. 

The changes are prompted by legislation enacted July 1 by the NH State legislature, HB113, which cut funding to the public TV station by $2.7 million, a 30 percent reduction in its $8.8 million annual operating budget.

Bryan Christiansen of Comcast, who spoke about the changes during the August Cable Advisory Board meeting in Nashua, said that while the announcement "is a big doozy," for Nashua, the key is that the two stations are working to merge content without competing with one another for viewer-supported funding.

"They're trying to make the stations as universal as possible," Christiansen said adding that intead of overlap, the two stations would work together to maintain popular programming for New Hampshire viewers once WGBH is dropped from the channel lineup.

New program schedules for NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE will roll out this fall, on Channels 2 and 11.

He directed the public to check out nhptv.org/updates for more information.

John Barker, Director of IT for the city, who also sits on the cable advisory board, emphasized to the public that complaints should be directed to their legislators.

"Comcast didn't make this decision. This is what the government in Concord believes is the will of the people. Someone should contact their legislators and explain if they agree or disagree that this money be taken away from New Hampshire Public TV, which put them in the straits where they had to do this," Barker said.

Committee liaison Alderman Barbara Pressly said the loss of WGBH to Nashua viewers was a "huge" one.

"So many times when legislators do something like this they do not understand the consequences and rammifications of their actions. This is going to be a huge loss to the television viewing public in New Hampshire, and as John Barker said, the thing to do is to contact your legislators," Pressly said.

NHPTV and WGBH Boston will collaborate starting next month to further focus its resources on producing and presenting local and PBS television programs, a partnership which will provide operational economies.

As NHPTV makes the transition from an entity of the University System of New Hampshire to an independent, community-licensed public media organization, both NHPTV and WGBH will remain independently owned and operated stations.

As part of the NHPTV–WGBH collaboration, NHPTV will contract for services in areas such as broadcast technologies, membership services and financial administration. Through digital technology, broadcast operations can be shared and combined to save money, which enables financial resources to be redirected to programming.

So what does this mean to viewers?

Beginning in October, NHPTV PRIME viewers will be able to view PBS programs such as Masterpiece, Nature, Antiques Roadshow, American Masters, Great Performances, PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street and Curious George at times that align with the national public broadcasting schedule. Local NHPTV programs including Windows to the Wild, Roadside Stories, and Granite State Challenge will continue to be seen on NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE, also at new times. The program schedule for NHPTV EXPLORE will change in September. And, more viewers in New Hampshire will have access to the public media digital channels WORLD and CREATE. 

“NHPTV is pleased to be part of this ground-breaking collaboration with WGBH, and to streamline certain administrative and operational functions. The cost savings will enable us to focus our resources on local programs and services for our viewers and supporters,” noted Peter Frid, President and CEO of NHPTV. “NHPTV is a strong, valued and financially sound organization, and we’re excited about our future plans as we continue to serve our New Hampshire viewers and communities.”

“WGBH and New Hampshire Public Television share a mission of serving audiences with quality educational programs,” said WGBH President and CEO Jonathan Abbott.  “We are excited to collaborate in that mission in ways that will make the best use of our resources and new technologies to benefit our communities,” he said.

The breakdown:

NHPTV PRIME -  For New Hampshire, the home of the main PBS schedule, featuring series such as American Experience, American Masters, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Great Performances, History Detectives, Masterpiece, Market Warriors, Nature, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, This Old House, as well as British comedies and PBS Kids programs. NHPTV PRIME also features New Hampshire-focused programs like Granite State Challenge.

NHPTV EXPLORE – A second full-service public television channel for New Hampshire featuring alternate broadcast times for key PBS programs, locally focused independent programs, as well as Globe Trekker and British programs such as Doc Martin and Lark Rise to Candleford.

World
– A 24/7 non-fiction and documentary channel featuring thought-provoking stories on today's headlines, scientific advances, historic revelations, and natural wonders.

Create – Round-the-clock lifestyle programming to help you make the most of life, with practical tips on everything from home improvement and decorating to travel and cooking.

WGBH Kids – Acclaimed and award-winning PBS children’s shows and family-friendly programming offered 24/7.

FAQS on changes to WGBH/NH Public TV starting Oct. 8, from NHPTV.org:

Q: What will change about the programs NH audiences view on NHPTV PRIME and EXPLORE?

A: NHPTV PRIME viewers will now be able to watch prime-time PBS programs when these are broadcast nationally. Viewers still will have the same PBS series they know and love, such American Experience, American Masters, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Great Performances, History Detectives, Masterpiece, Market Warriors, Nature, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, This Old House, and the full array of PBS Kids programs.  What will change is the schedule: prime-time programs on NHPTV PRIME will now air when they air on WGBH  2 and other PBS stations across the US.
 
NHPTV EXPLORE’s program schedule will undergo some changes.  It will offer alternate times for key PBS programs and a showcase for locally produced and acquired programs. Many of the programs that NHPTV EXPLORE viewers are accustomed to seeing will continue on the WORLD and CREATE channels.

Q: Will the same programs be on both NHPTV and WGBH? What will be different?

A: Viewers in each state will see the same full PBS slate of programs. Under the new arrangement, both NHPTV PRIME and WGBH 2 will offer the full national PBS service as well as programs with a local focus of value to New Hampshire and Massachusetts audiences.

Q: What happens to New Hampshire-focused programs?

A: Audiences in New Hampshire will continue to enjoy series such as Windows to the Wild, Roadside Stories, Granite State Challenge, and other NH-focused programs. One of the many benefits of this new arrangement is that NHPTV will be able to dedicate resources to programs about New Hampshire and educational services that benefit NH viewers. You can find out more about sponsoring Granite State Challenge by contacting Sarah Varney, Director of Corporate & Foundations Support, at (603) 868-4318.

Q: Will any of my channel locations or channel schedules change?

A: Comcast has agreed to partner with us to implement the changes and, as a result, beginning the week of October 8th, 2012, Comcast customers in New Hampshire will experience these channel changes:

  • NHPTV PRIME will be on channels 2 and HD 802/702 (depending on your location)
  • NHPTV EXPLORE will be on channels11 and HD 801/711

WGBH no longer will be carried on 2 or HD 802/702 and WGBX no longer will be carried on 16/17/26 or HD 818/718.

Comcast subscribers in both states will continue to receive two local PBS services: NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE in New Hampshire and WGBH 2 and WGBX-44 in Eastern Massachusetts. Customers in NH will no longer receive WGBH 2 and WGBX 44; and customers in MA will no longer receive NHPTV Prime and Explore.

WGBH 2 and NHPTV PRIME’s schedules will largely be the same, with some small differences that reflect a focus on the local communities in each state. Viewers in Massachusetts who enjoy programs like Windows to the Wild will continue to view these, and New Hampshire viewers who enjoy programs like Greater Boston will continue to view those.

WGBH 44 and NHPTV EXPLORE’s schedules will also largely be the same.

The CREATE and WORLD channels will be available in both states.

Q: If I currently receive WGBH/NHPTV via antenna over the air or through a different provider, will be affected?
A: Viewers who use an antenna to watch over-the-air will still be able to watch NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE.  Other cable and satellite providers are not making these changes at this time.  As previously mentioned, WGBH 2/NHPTV PRIME and WGBH 44/NHPTV EXPLORE’s schedules will largely be
the same.

Q: Will I still be able to watch the NHPTV Annual Spring Auction?
A: The NHPTV Spring Auction will celebrate its 40th year in 2013 and NHPTV is committed to continuing one of the most successful volunteer-driven auctions in the country. Viewers in New Hampshire will continue to watch the NHPTV Spring Auction on-air and online.

Q: I live in Maine/Vermont and watch NHPTV PRIME / NHPTV EXPLORE. Will that continue?
A: You will continue to be able to view NHPTV. New program lineups for NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE will roll out this fall so you will see programs airing at new times.

Here is a link via LegiScan to the roll call vote for HB 113, which passed by a vote of 263 to 102. If you are so inclined, here's how to contact your Nashua state legislators and senators (from the state NH House of Representatives website). Hyperlinks will take you to email and telephone information.

Representatives: District 20    Ward 1
Kevin A Avard : 68 Bartemus Trail , Nashua,  NH ,    03063-7601
Sean M McGuinness : 30 Shelburne Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03063-2019
Carl W Seidel : 4 Thresher Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03063-2822 District 21    Ward 2
Michael A Balboni : 44 Lochmere Ln , Nashua,  NH ,    03063-1552
Michael J McCarthy : 34 Terry St , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-1431
Donald B McClarren : 39 Monza Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-1142 District 22    Ward 3
Brian D Rhodes : 47 Wood St , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-1929
Cindy Rosenwald : 101 Wellington St , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-1616
Lisa E Scontsas : 24 Courtland St , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-2133 District 23    Ward 4
David E Cote : 96 W Hollis St , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-3146
Mary J Gorman : 44 1/2 Amherst St , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-2560
Timothy Hogan : 29 Sullivan Street , Nashua,  NH ,    03064-1365 District 26    Ward 5
Kevin J Brown : 175 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3047
Joseph F Krasucki : 174 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3016
Donald L LeBrun : 333 Candlewood Park , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4454
Bill Ohm : 18 Mount Laurels Dr, Apt 403 , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4206
Barry J Palmer : 123 Shore Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1339
Michael T Reed : 29 Royal Crest Dr Apt 6 , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-6607
David S Robbins : 102 Cherrywood Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3094
Peter L Silva : 18 Masefield Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2571
James D Summers : 8 Heidi Ln , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1375
Randall A Whitehead : 20 Palisade Drive , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2108 District 24    Ward 6
Michael P Buxton : 62 Alder Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-4356
David B Campbell : 10 East Dunstable Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-5806
Kenneth N Gidge : 22 Hayden St , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-5854 District 25    Ward 7
Duane H Erickson : 10 Allds Street, Apt 295 , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-4734
Edith A Hogan : 34 Dearborn St , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-3949
Timothy L Twombly : 120 East Hobart St , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-5337 District 26    Ward 8
Kevin J Brown : 175 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3047
Joseph F Krasucki : 174 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3016
Donald L LeBrun : 333 Candlewood Park , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4454
Bill Ohm : 18 Mount Laurels Dr, Apt 403 , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4206
Barry J Palmer : 123 Shore Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1339
Michael T Reed : 29 Royal Crest Dr Apt 6 , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-6607
David S Robbins : 102 Cherrywood Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3094
Peter L Silva : 18 Masefield Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2571
James D Summers : 8 Heidi Ln , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1375
Randall A Whitehead : 20 Palisade Drive , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2108    Ward 9
Kevin J Brown : 175 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3047
Joseph F Krasucki : 174 Searles Road , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3016
Donald L LeBrun : 333 Candlewood Park , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4454
Bill Ohm : 18 Mount Laurels Dr, Apt 403 , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-4206
Barry J Palmer : 123 Shore Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1339
Michael T Reed : 29 Royal Crest Dr Apt 6 , Nashua,  NH ,    03060-6607
David S Robbins : 102 Cherrywood Dr , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-3094
Peter L Silva : 18 Masefield Rd , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2571
James D Summers : 8 Heidi Ln , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-1375
Randall A Whitehead : 20 Palisade Drive , Nashua,  NH ,    03062-2108   Senate: District: 12    Wards 1,2,5,9
Jim  Luther, State House, Concord, NH   03301 District: 13    Wards 3,4,6,7,8
Gary E Lambert, State House, Concord, NH   03301
Jan Schmidt September 04, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Mean Not Frugal - the 2011 - 2012 Legislature
Super Fun Size September 04, 2012 at 06:51 PM
It turns out an "Educated" electorate votes Democratic..........
News Flash September 04, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Hip hip hooray
Trollinator September 04, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Hopefully, the "bad dream" in this state will end in November.
Trollinator September 04, 2012 at 07:21 PM
We can tell that you never watched it anyway. FOX is much more educational.
News Flash September 04, 2012 at 07:38 PM
A Republican Governor will do the trick.
Just One Vote September 04, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I will give you the number to Uhaul and it can be over for you now instead of November if you can't wait.
Mark Vincent September 04, 2012 at 09:27 PM
"WGBH 2 and NHPTV PRIME’s schedules will largely be the same" "WGBH 44 and NHPTV EXPLORE’s schedules will also largely be the same." So Comcast is taking away 2 channels and leaving 2 channels that will broadcast the same programs as the 2 they are removing. Uh.... and this is some kind of crisis that people should be contacting their Reps about? Give me a break.
Trollinator September 04, 2012 at 10:17 PM
For "News Trash" and "Just One Goat". Stop using a cowardly alias name with your wise ass remarks. Show your real name and we'll all see how brave you are. I'll bet that you don't have the courage to come out of your mother's basement.
Paul Mercury September 04, 2012 at 10:59 PM
@ NF Like an obedient dog, you've been trained by the corporate media to hate public media.
News Flash September 04, 2012 at 11:29 PM
DV Dont hate it, I just do not want to pay for it. Democrats should get a grip. Others are tired for paying for your stuff. You like it, you pay for it.
Seamus Carty September 05, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Why in 2012 is the fed govt spending money on a tv network? Aren't there more pressing needs?
News Flash September 05, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Yes there are but democrats are stupid.
Paul Mercury September 05, 2012 at 04:37 AM
When the people pay for the media, the media is accountable to the people. When the corporations pay for the media, guess who the media is accountable to? "New Research Confirms PBS the Most Trusted and Unbiased Source for News Ahead of Fox News Channel, CNN and Other Commercial Networks" http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-research-confirms-pbs-the-most-trusted-and-unbiased-source-for-news-ahead-of-fox-news-channel-cnn-and-other-commercial-networks-84739127.html
Paul Mercury September 05, 2012 at 04:40 AM
@ Seamus "Aren't there more pressing needs?" Yes, Mitt needs his 0% tax rate, and billion-dollar ExxonMobil needs their juicy taxpayer subsidies. Sesame Street is a needless luxury.
LJoel Hackbart September 05, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Yes end the bad dream and throw out the republican legislators.
Atlant September 05, 2012 at 10:27 AM
The article was rather unclearly written, but right now, Comcast carries *FOUR* WGBH/WGBX channels: WGBH, World, Create, and Kids plus the two WENH channels, one of which apparently duplicates World. Apparently, Comcast intends to drop all of the WGBH/WGBX channels, leaving you with just the two modified WENH channels so, yes, you are losing programming if you watch WGBH via the cable. We don't; we watch it over the air for free. I wonder what Comcast will use the freed-up space for? Will it be new channels in the basic package? Or more extra-fee channels?
Bob Stevens September 22, 2012 at 01:03 PM
"Other cable and satellite providers are not making these changes" so it's just Comcast screwing us.
Ralph H October 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Why aren't the stations invoking the "must carry" rules for Cable Providers? Why is only Comcast in Boston dropping WENH programming? I'm paying for reception of these cable channels, so is Comcast lowering my rates?
Kim Kirchwey October 30, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Don't you love the artful wording? " Viewers in each state will see the same full PBS slate of programs ... as well as programs with a local focus of value to New Hampshire and Massachusetts audiences." Let's parse that foggyspeak a little more closely. Do I, a MA viewer, get to see something considered of value to NH viewers? No! What's decided to be "of value" in NH is unavailable in MA and vice versa. So I can no longer, for instance, watch Granite State Challenge, the best regional high school quiz show anywhere. If someone wanted to culturally isolate two states, what better way?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »