DMA Images courtesy of Back Channel Media.
Recently one of our readers, Alice Tor in Afton, sent the following question to NCL:
Alice Tor wrote:
Like many Nelson county residents, I use satellite for TV reception. As I
understand it from a Nielsen Research employee, all Nelson county dish users
must use Roanoke and Lynchburg local stations for the traditional networks.
Back before cable and satellite, these were the only signals available here;
therefore dish users are stuck by law in the Roanoke/Lynchburg designated
market area (DMA) for our local TV. I was wondering how many other people are
dissatisfied with this and would prefer to be included in the Charlottesville
DMA instead. I am also curious as to how one would go about changing. The
last straw was yesterday evening when the Roanoke CBS station decided not to
broadcast the postponed from Sunday US Open mens’ final (It was shunted to a
sister station, not available to dish users). The Charlottesville CBS
affiliate aired the match, according to its website. Anyway, I thought I
would contact you to see if you had an idea of any community feeling on the
subject. I enjoy your publication and website.
Alice has hit the nail precisely on the head. Here’s part of our reply to her:
You have hit the nail on the head for me! Having come from the television news business, both as a reporter, weatherman, and eventually manager / owner of a television station, before our move to Nelson, I have extensive knowledge of this. Having Nelson in the Roanoke Lynchburg DMA makes no sense and is a total disservice to the viewers here. I notice the Roanoke stations never program for this area, even during severe weather they glaze right over what’s happening here, but we get to hear all about Galax, and beyond! We are in a unique situation as we are the last county north in their DMA (the stepchild) and border the Charlottesville DMA. All of our friends on the county line along 151 have Charlottesville on their dish receivers because their technical address is in Albemarle.
In their defense I understand why the Roanoke stations don’t care about programming to us they really gain nothing from it, other than their sales force being able to tell customers they go all the way into Nelson. Otherwise we might as well be in the jungle somewhere.
One bit of good news is a thing called “collapsing the DMA.” I have seen it happen in other markets and Nelson is a prime place for it to happen as the Charlottesville stations gain more ground in their own DMA. With 3 additional new stations in CHO now, odds are very good Nelson will fold into that market within the next 2-4 years, it’s an almost certainty. That is if Roanoke doesn’t object and try to stop it, even though they don’t take care of Nelson now. It’s all about money, nothing more nothing less. Public interest took a back seat years ago, unfortunately.
So until “the collapse” of the DMA happens, continue enjoying television newscasts that essentially have no relevance to Nelson.
What are some of your stories on this, drop us a comment, have you had a similar experience?