TV viewers without cable lose NBC programming

The Associated Press
Thursday January 03, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 100,000 San Francisco Bay area households will lose the chance to watch NBC unless they get cable or a satellite dish because the network’s new local affiliate has a transmitter that is out of range of their antennas. 

Station managers say they are working on improving the signal’s reach, but in the meantime, many fans of “Friends” and the “West Wing” in the nation’s fifth largest television market will have to decide whether to spring for cable, or go without their favorite shows. 

As of Jan. 1, NBC dropped its affiliation with San Francisco-based KRON. NBC programming will now be aired on San Jose-based KNTV, which NBC bought in mid-December. KNTV’s signal originates too far south to reach many Bay Area households. 

“We are actively looking to move our tower farther north,” said Richard Swank, KNTV’s vice president of engineering. 

Swank said the station was in talks with the Federal Communications Commission, and a move might come in the next few years. 

More than 2 million of the 2.4 million television households in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market have cable or a satellite dish. 

which will enable them to receive NBC. 

The roughly 400,000 remaining households rely on antennas to catch the signal, according to NBC. 

Even before the switch, about 100,000 Bay Area households couldn’t get NBC programs from KRON because of the Bay Area’s mountains and other obstacles. 

KNTV reaches viewers on AT&T cable Channel 3 and broadcast Channel 11. 

KRON will remain at Channel 4 and plans to focus on local news as well as syndicated shows. 


On the Net: