Did WGBH Run New Hampshire Public Television Out Of The Bay State?

Several days ago the hardwatching staff noticed that Channel 11 and Channel 44 were missing from our television.

So we tasked (as they say) our Investigative Unit (aka the Missus) to find out what was up.

And here it is:

Channel 11 (New Hampshire Public Television) is no longer available to Massachusetts Comcast subscribers.

Channel 44 (WGBX) is now located at Channel 16 on your Comcast dial.

Handy WGBH chart:

According to credible sources, “Massachusetts PBS” grew tired of competing for viewers with “New Hampshire PBS.” So it leaned on Comcast to dump NHPTV in the Bay State.

Why, subsequently, WGBX moved from its established identity as Ch. 44 to Ch. 16 is not clear, although it’s reasonable to believe that the Boston public broadcaster just wanted a lower dial position.

Which – how to put this – was totally idiotic, since the Ch. 44 audience has a VCR flashing 12 o’clock . . . 12 o’clock . . . 12 o’clock . . . and is the last group in the world that might chase a TV station across the cable universe.

Then again, WGBH management are the same people who thought converting 89.7 FM into a news/talk radio station living off WBUR’s rejects was a good idea.

(Full disclosure: The hardworking staff used to work at WGBH. We no longer do. And we currently contribute analysis to WBUR. But that doesn’t mean we’ve gone stupid.)

WGBH, on the other hand, well . . . you be the judge.

P.S. WGBX’s move to Comcast Ch. 16 has displaced the Lifetime Channel, which currently only exists in HD format. More shuffling, no doubt, to come.


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10 Responses to Did WGBH Run New Hampshire Public Television Out Of The Bay State?

  1. Charlie says:

    You are missing the bigger story.
    WGBH quietly took control of NHPTV this summer. The smaller station had lost its state subsidy and surrendered its independence to stay alive. With the exception of a local show or two, both stations now show the same programs at the same time. The only difference is branding.
    The deal affects NH viewers, too. WGBH is no longer available on Comcast in New Hampshire.
    The cable company wasn’t “leaned on,” it was given a gift. By waiving must-carry rights on both sides of the border, the PBS stations relinquished a valuable low-number position on the “dial.”

  2. Becky says:

    Charlie is right. For NH residents, this was a lose/lose. In addition to WGBH, we also lost WGBX (both HD and standard). If I have to watch all the Brown/Warren ads, can’t I at least have some good MA programming?

    • Al says:

      Becky: We’re not too thrilled having the Bass, Hasson, and the rest of your ads jammed down our throats, either. For that matter, I’ve taken to muting the MA political ads, including many of those by candidates I support. I’ve had it with them. As for Ch 2, I wish you still had it available up there. I know I miss the Ch 11 schedule.

  3. Laurence Glavin says:

    So far, Comcast in the Merrimack Valley hasn’t put anything ON cable channel 11. If you click channel-up, you go from home shopping on cable channel 10 to cable channel 12, WLVI-TV over-the-air-self-identified channel 56. The only poossible loss to Massachusetts viewers of NH Public Television was the absence of the Lawrence Welk show, which is not likely to appear on channels 2 or 44. WGBH-TV tried to make up for that in September by airing Wagner”s “Die Welkure”.

  4. notlobmusic says:

    Your readers who have facebook accounts may be interested in joining and sharing their views in…
    New England’s National “Public” Radio Affiliates – https://www.facebook.com/groups/500481699968014
    Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBH – https://www.facebook.com/groups/201481030324/

  5. Great – I look forward to the call from Mom. I can deal with it the next time I go over to put an ink cartridge in her printer, put batteries in her phone, restart her computer, and “fix the internet.”

  6. FIOS still carries Channel 11, and I’ll be really mad if they drop it – it’s my staple Sunday morning viewing!

  7. Dave Atkinson says:

    OK, now in Merrimack, Comcast has WENH PBS with channel 11 logos on channel 2. Channel 11 has NHPTE channel 11. There is no channel 26. That chart up top is not accurate now. Pendulum swing the other way. I don’t like this either. But Comcast doesn’t have accurate data on their website either.

  8. James W. Beaudry says:

    FIOIS does not carry Channel 11 as a NHchannel. Its programming is identical to Channel 2, Boston. I feel cheated out of a chnnel!

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Comcast doesn’t either, James. Apparently ‘GBH bought NHPT and Massachusetts doesn’t get it anymore, while NH doesn’t get ‘GBH. It’s an interstate gyp.

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