: Week 18/Wild Card Weekend NFL Canada FULL TV Schedule
2009-01-04, 10:51 PM
While WGRZ is powerless when it comes to simsubbing of signals when they are waranted, for times when they are not such as the marathon I would think it would raise a red flag for them. Lets be honest, the Buffalo TV stations rely on viewership from Ontario. Not in primetime, but when you watch the Buffalo stations when they air local programs how many Ontario commercials do you see. I think WUTV has the most, but they all do have some to some extent. So I would say bring it up to WGRZ's attention that you tried watching this and there was an unwaranted simsub. I dont see how it can hurt the cause to let them know that they are improperly having their signal blocked...
2009-01-05, 11:10 AM
That's a good point alebowgm. I will email them and let them know. I told Rogers about this specific case but haven't heard back from them yet.
Again, it was a telethon about something (I don't even remember), and I wasn't particularly interested in watching it, but this was another example of a simsub gone horribly wrong, as it lasted the entire hour!
2009-01-05, 12:47 PM
Not to mention that they couldnt get any Toronto donations for their cause...
2009-01-07, 01:05 AM
So I decided to call Rogers again tonight about these simsub debacles after getting some standard email responses back about certain botched simsubs. I've complained many times to Rogers over the years now via email, standard mail, and by phone about botched simsubs, and most of the time, the rep at the other end has no idea what simsubbing even is, and they state things like "Rogers is not responsible for what is sent out on the channels".
But tonight... a refreshing change. I simply stated that I'm frustrated about improper simsubs, and the rep asked me "simsubs, do you mean simultaneous substitution", and I said "yes!" I then stated certain instances of simsubs gone wrong, including this past Sunday with "24" not being shown, and she logged all my specific complaints. She stated that she will pass this onto the department who actually control the simsubs. She understood that basically during live events that go over the allotted schedule, simsubs aren't being done properly, and I told her that is indeed where simsubs aren't mostly being done properly, and so she'll pass this fact onto that department. I also mentioned other instances of incorrect simsubs like when certain American shows are made to be 62 or 65 minutes in length now, and when regularly scheduled programs aren't shown, like the WGRZ telethon, and she noted those comments as well and said she would pass them along.
She also stated herself that sometimes simsubs cause audio to be not passed through properly, as she notices the 5.1 not being sent out while she is at home and she is forced to wach a simsubbed channel! I mentioned to her about the 2007 NFL playoffs on Global being of poor picture quality, and she remembers fielding a lot of complaints about them.
She also mentioned the fact that when TSN airs NASCAR races, they cut away right after the race is over and don't show any post game interviews. She actually wrote into TSN about this, and I told her I remember reading about TSN butchering NASCAR races (although I don't watch much NASCAR myself). Now this wasn't a direct result of a simsub gone wrong, because TSN doesn't simsub, and also TSN was getting the feed from TNT, a channel we don't get in Canada, but it was kind of related, and it was just another point that we could both relate to. Again, it was amazing talking to a rep that knew so much about simsubbing and other broadcasting issues! Too bad everyone wasn't like this at Rogers - it should be the case but it isn't.
Hopefully, things will get better with botched simsubs (and hopefully I'm not just being too optimistic).
I even told her that simsubs aren't really working and CTV and Global aren't really producing many new shows, and she agreed. Too bad she didn't have the power to stop simsubs altogether - but that will have to be a decision made by the CRTC, and I don't think they'll ever change their minds. But at least if they are done right, that is one giant step towards being forced to live with simsubs.
2009-01-07, 01:20 AM
Nice to hear you got someone who knew what they were talking about. By chance did you get a CSR # or name/what call center she was in. Also, did you find out the name of the department that handles simsubs, as this would all be useful information in helping others call in and narrow down the process... the more people complain, the better it is in the end run...
2009-01-07, 10:03 AM
I just called the cable TV technical support department, and she told me that she would pass it onto the technical department that handles the simsubs. She said everything used to be manual back in the day, but now it is automated. But she wasn't sure why in Sunday's case, when the football game was scheduled to end at 8:00 pm (and FOX went off the air at 8:02 pm after a short post-game), that the simsub didn't stop.
I remember in the 90s when watching basketball, the game was scheduled for 2.5 hours, and the NBA Finals on NBC would start at 9:00 pm, and the CTV hijack would be over at 11:30 pm, so the rest of the time for the night if the game went over the allotted time we would get to see NBC's feed directly, which meant the post-game would be intact, so there was some relief towards the end of the telecast that way. But now simsubs go on until whenever the live (sporting) event is over.
Well, I did get a ticket number and the rep's name (and I just assumed she worked in cable TV technical suppport). She stated that Rogers would call back after the ticket had been resolved. She mentioned that wouldn't mean that the simsub issue has been completely solved, just that the department that handles the simsubs recieved the ticket is and is working on correcting the problem. I could then follow up myself and see exactly how they are going to solve the incorrect simsubs.
But it's a start at least. Again I felt I got much further along about this issue last night than I did with the first dozen or so reps combined that I've spoken to in the past. She understood simsubs and knew where to direct the ticket, unlike the "we don't broadcast anything" nonsense stated by previous reps before.
2009-01-07, 06:44 PM
Well, more of an update:
I just received a call back from someone who I talked to before Christmas, and he stated that the improper simsub this past Sunday (I guess he caught wind of an email I sent Sunday night) during the wildcard game and afterwards with "24" was due to a server error not processing the simsub automatically, and it had to be manually overridden. But the manual override was 58 minutes into the show, and it should have happened a lot sooner. I told him that a company as big as Rogers should have back up systems in place in case something does go with a simsub, because after all, Rogers is not a small cable company that serves just a little town or two, but it’s one of the biggest in the nation. He noted this. He also stated that a $50 credit would be applied, which is nice, but it’s not about money either (although it is in the sense that I pay to see what I want to see properly). But say if Rogers messed up a simsub and I missed the biggest play during the Superbowl live, and Rogers offered me $1 million because of missing that play, that $1 million would not buy me the chance to witness that play live again ever, as the moment has passed, and it would never be the same as watching it live. So he understood that as well. He still has to get back to me about the incorrect simsub over the WGRZ telethon on December 12, 2008.
Again, some progress is being made finally, and hopefully I'll get some answers about the telethon, and he told me to note any future incorrect simsubs and they would deal with them and make sure it doesn't happen in the future. I should just email him the "Faulty Simsub Log" from Digitalhome!