New Bedford Still Needs Channel 5 [OPINION]
Someone notify the Federal Communications Commission that New Bedford and Fall River are in Bristol County in Massachusetts and not Rhode Island.
Somewhere in between the bustling hubs of Boston and Providence lay New Bedford, Fall River, and the rest of Bristol County. We are in Massachusetts, not Rhode Island, although according to the FCC, we are in the Providence metro market. That means something for ratings and advertising rates but not much for the average viewer.
We watched as New Bedford's local television station, at the time WTEV-6, was hustled off to Providence in pursuit of advertising revenue. With it went most coverage of the local area. News, public service, weather, and the rest of it became Providence-centric, and except for the required legal ID, most mentions of the New Bedford area disappeared, too.
Boston's WCVB-5 hardly ever mentions New Bedford – unless of course, there is a murder or Chronicle stops by on its way down the main streets and backroads of nowhere. We're like the Rodney Dangerfield of media market locations, we get no respect.
Channels 5 and 6 are both ABC affiliates. Comcast, your cable TV provider, doesn't want to pay to provide you with two ABC affiliates and is therefore looking for better terms with Channel 5. If that does not happen by December 21, subscribers in Bristol County will continue to receive Channel 6 but not Channel 5.
I was raised on Chet, Nat, Dickie, and Lynchie. If I had to choose I would pick Channel 5. But I don't have a choice. Nor do you.
What you could do is call Channel 5 and tell them you will fight to keep them on the local circuit if they promise to acknowledge our existence with greater frequency. Then call Comcast and demand that they keep Channel 5 in the lineup or you will cut the cord.
Good luck as I don't think either of them really cares what we think anyway. Meanwhile, just keep reminding yourself, we are in Massachusetts and not Rhode Island.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.