Some REV customers lament changes to programming

Eight channels removed and replaced due to licensing agreement changes

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Scores of REV customers took to social media over the weekend to express their frustration over the company’s changes to its television program lineup, which launched last Friday.

In a statement on its Facebook Page, REV advised that “due to changes in licensing agreements, none of the providers in the Bahamas can broadcast or continue to broadcast these channels. We have, however, replaced each channel removed with a similar alternative.”

The list of channels removed, included USA (465), which was replaced by with Ion Television; Freeform (314), TV Land (359), replaced with Escape TV; Sprout (305) with PBSkids; Nick Toons (311) with Qubo Channel, the Hallmark Channel (487) with Ion Life, Independent Film Channel (586) with Movies; and the Tennis Channel (720) was replaced with Quest TV.

REV noted that it added 10 new channels to its lineup within customers’ existing cable packages to enhance the entertainment value for its customers.

The announcement on Facebook received nearly 350 reactions and was shared more than 130 times. It was also advertised in local dailies and circulated via email.

In a series of subsequent post advertising where popular programs could now be found, REV post that the television series ‘Law and Order: SVU’ will now be aired on ION TV (Channel 465). It also advised that Calliou, a popular children’s animated series, will now air on PBS Kids (Channel 305), the company said.

Janice Sharp Treco posted on Facebook: “Cable Bahamas, when you post things like this it’s just making it worse for you. To us subscribers, it seems like you [are] rubbing in the fact that our channels are gone. Please do not try to tell us they are comparable to what we have because they are not.”

In response to Facebook user, Lynette Martinborough, who said the remove of particular stations was simply unacceptable and the replacements were being forced on paying customers without any consideration of credits, Cable Bahamas said, “We apologize for any inconvenience caused and know that being able to watch your favourite shows is important to you. That’s why we’ve ensure that 98 percent of the programs have been replaced with these new channels. It may be a different network, but we aim to deliver the same shows. We’ve also added 10 new channels that we hope you’ll enjoy.”

Apryl Moss, a Rev customer, said Cable Bahamas had an obligation to better communicate the changes to its customers beyond Facebook and should have contacted customers personally.

“Do not make the changes and then send out a Facebook message,” she wrote..

“This is not how it works.

“It is because of your customers that most of employees have jobs. I’m sure you want our bills to be paid for on time and when that doesn’t happen, we get a call or email right away. So, why can’t you do the same when something as important as this happen. Please practice proper customer service and communication because you will lose even more customers…”

However, Stephen Smith, a resident of Cable Beach, said while he understands the frustration of some customers who now have to watch their favourite shows at different times due to the alternative scheduling of the new channels, he does not take issue with the changes.

“The new channels offered play the same programs just about, although at the different times that they did before, but I don’t have an issue with that,” Smith said.

“My life isn’t dependent on these shows.

“A lot of people were complaining about Hallmark, I know that, but there is an alternative.”

A resident of Eastern New Providence, who works for Cable Bahamas and did not wish to be named, told Eyewitness News Online that while he no longer use television services, opting for online streaming services such as Netflix and Android Box, the removal of the channels on Cable’s lineup has irritated a number customers.

“I looked at it last night, USA was changed to Icon for example and I scrolled through the line up and all I saw was some of the channels. I didn’t get too deep into it, but it looked the same I guess with almost the same content. If someone is used to watching something on Tuesday at 8 p.m. they won’t be able to watch that show at that time anymore, as the lineup does not quite match what was there. In my family, they are ticked off about it and they are talking about dropping the television service, but these are older folks,” he said.

Dozens other customers complained about the Hallmark Channel no longer being available.

REV apologized for the inconvenience and said while no provider could broadcast the Hallmark Channel, REV will continue to work with its providers to ensure “you receive a variety of channels for you and your family’s enjoyment”.