The switch to digital television has left some viewers in western Iowa still struggling to find public TV. That’s because Cox Communications has dropped Iowa Public TV from its basic cable service and moved the signal to the more expensive digital package.
Cox has chosen to carry only Nebraska’s service on the basic package. I-P-T-V communications manager Jennifer Konforst says it was a disappointment that their signal was moved. Konforst says for the past 20 years Nebraska Educational Television and Iowa Public Television have both been considered by Cox to be primary channels so they’ve always been on basic tier just like Nebraska.
"Earlier this year we were negotiating where our digital channels will be carried and we made it clear that we still consider ourselves to be a primary channel and Cox that costs viewers more money to subscribe to," Konforst says. Cable viewers in Council Bluffs will have to purchase the more expensive cable package, hook up a converter box, or buy a new digital television. Konforst says this has created more confusion for viewers.
"For weeks and months they’ve been hearing that (with) cable you didn’t need to do anything. So there are some viewers who’ve called and they’re disappointed because that wasn’t the case for them," Konforst says. Konforst says they’re lobbying hard to get Cox to reconsider.
Konforst says it’s public television and they believe it should be available in the easiest way possible. A representative for Cox Communications could not be reached for comment.Posted for 1 P.M.