Sent to the President of Canadian cable provider Eastlink, Deborah Shaffner, on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016:

Hello,

I have subscribed to Fox News Channel since it was launched by (what is now) Eastlink’s Delta Cable, in early 2005 I believe. Delta Cable made a big deal of it when it launched back then. “The news channel Ottawa didn’t want you to watch is now available in Canada” was how it was advertised by Delta Cable in big display ads in Delta papers. I immediately subscribed.

Let me interrupt my email to show you this. I couldn’t include an image in the email I sent because I had to use their online form, but here’s what I was referring to with regard to the display ads placed by Delta Cable when Fox News Channel was made available in 2005. I posted it here, back in the day:

But to go on:

On Eastlink, it’s still not in HD, after 12 years. Fox News Channel is provided on the HD channel 861 here in Delta, but in SD, despite the premium being charged for that channel.

I have asked Eastlink staff over the years why it is that you don’t offer it in HD, and I have been given various non-answers, such as, “Eastlink is always making improvements,” etc. But after nearly 12 years of waiting for this simple and reasonable improvement, I must naturally question that assertion.

I assume that the reason I would finally be given is that there is not enough demand for FNC to make it worthwhile for you. And yet you and every cable provider in Canada offer it; and in the U.S., it is just about the most popular cable channel and certainly the most popular news channel by far. Canadian viewing habits match almost identically American viewing habits, as you know.

In 2016 virtually every channel is available in HD. It seems very outdated and primitive to watch any channel in SD in 2016, especially on our huge and increasingly higher-definition screens. Moreover, important information channels like Fox News Channel should be in HD — like virtually all the other channel and certainly all the other news channels – American, Canadian, and even British and the “Euronews” channel.

I pay well over $200.00 to Eastlink every month, including the premium I pay to get Fox News Channel. I feel as though I should get the best technology and best viewing available, for that amount of money.

I would like your comments on this please.

Sincerely,
Joel Johannesen

I know, I know, it’s a long email. But bear in mind this is not my first whack at this. I’ve asked this numerous times, and have never gotten anything like a reasonable answer.

First reply received December 14, 2016:

Delta Cable

The President @eastlink

Reply: Today, 10:25 AM

Dear Mr. Johannesen,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your Delta Cable Service and the availability of the Fox News Channel in HD quality. We will look into this right away, and will have someone from our team get in touch with you to discuss as soon as we have some information to share.

Thank you for your business and we will be in touch shortly.

Sincerely,

Courtney Bezanson
Senior Product Advisor
For the office of Deborah Shaffner, President

It took me probably a half an hour to find the email address for Eastlink (Delta Cable), and I’m sure it would take just as long to find one for Shaw, Rogers, Bell, or any other cable company. If you have the right email addresses I’ll post them here so others can send email. If you do write an email, please share with me — I might post some here (with your personal privacy intact of course).

UPDATE:

UPDATE Monday Dec 19 2016

I got a call from a representative on behalf of the president of the company, who told me that they’d looked into it and found that the root of the problem is that it’s a restriction that Fox News has, in which Fox News has not given them permission to broadcast in high def.

That sounds ridiculous.

Naturally, I asked why that might be, as it obviously sounds rather strange that Fox News would require Eastlink to broadcast their signal in an inferior viewing mode, making their channel look bad compared to their competitors. They had no answer as to why this was. The rep said he could look into it and see if he can find an answer, but couldn’t promise anything.

Rather frustrated, I told him my “why” question should obviously have been anticipated, and since he didn’t have an answer now, I’d leave it up to him to find the answer, and whether or not to share that answer with me when or if he does find it.

I suppose my next step is to ask Fox News Channel why they would impose such an odd restriction. But I have a feeling this given the relatively tiny market I am a part of, this at the bottom of their list of customer concerns.

Joel Johannesen
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