Timing is everything


You wouldn’t think Red Lion PA, home of Red Lion Broadcasting’s Christian indy WGCB-TV, has or has had any connection whatsoever to Washington DC. But it’s in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, which at one time was considered by Nielsen to be part of the Washington DMA, probably because it’s not too far from Hagerstown MD, which has been considered part of Washington from time to time. In the fall of 2004, Nielsen reassigned the county to the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York DMA. As such, Red Lion is demanding must carry status from Comcast’s Franklin County cable systems. The FCC turned it down, however. The reason? It waited until 2008 to press its case. Carriage is determined within set time blocks, not as an issue is brought up, and the current block began 1/1/06 and runs through 12/31/08. So Franklin County Comcast systems do not have to carry WGCB-TV.

RBR/TVBR observation: It would appear that Comcast has an entire month plus a week to enjoy a WGCB-free channel lineup. At the end of this brief span of time, Red Lion should be able to successfully claim its right to carriage.