This spring, Bright House Networks re-structured their channel listing. One UT student is not happy with their removal of BET.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, called ResLife multiple times and was referred to Bright House, as ResLife said they could not handle the problem.
When the student spoke to Bright House, they said they did not know of the change, claiming they do in fact provide BET to UT.
The student was assured by a customer representative from Bright House that channel 19 was BET and TBS was channel 23.
When the student said that WUTT, UT’s radio station, broadcasts on channel 23, the sales representative said UT changed the channel themselves and decided to keep TBS over BET.
After telling ResLife about Bright House’s comments, the student was referred to UT’s tech division.
The student claims multiple calls were made to the tech division, but no one answered the calls.
“What bothers me is why that station of all the other 71 stations. Why BET?” said the student.
The student expressed sentiment about the lack of student involvement.
“There was no poll that asked students what station they would prefer to be moved,” the student said. “Instead the authorities made their own decision.”
Krystal Schofield, Director of Residence Life, said that about one month ago, she received the student’s concern and addressed this issue to UT’s Brian Sutton, Director of Procurement, Contracts ‘ Business Communications.
“When Bright House standardized all of the channel listings in the Tampa Bay area they changed the channel number for BET to channel 19,” Schofield said that Sutton told her. “That channel is the same one as our local UT television station. Since we have as part of our agreement with them that they will provide us with campus access for our television station on a predetermined channel they were not able to show BET on channel 19,” he said.
Sutton first heard about the elimination of BET from ResLife after the student complaint.
MTVU (channel 21) is another area of concern. This channel is muted, the student said, suggesting this channel be eliminated and replaced with BET.
The student expressed her frustration with ResLife.
“In addition, ResLife is no help when it comes to this situation because they blame Bright House,” she said.
Schofield expressed her confusion.
“I am not sure why none of the other residents inquired prior to the one student who contacted me with a concern,” she said.
UT has a contract with Bright House Networks which is active through June 30, 2010. Within the contract, channel 19 is reserved for WUTV, campus television. In addition, the contract provides for hook-ups around campus in areas that service the campus community such as the commuter lounge.
Student sentiment varies as one UT student is not in favor of bringing BET back to campus television.
Sophomore Abbey Surrena says, “I think BET is demeaning and wish it would cease to exist in its entirety.”
Contrarily, UT Freshman Akira Robinson thinks, “it should be put back on. I personally don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I sometimes watch that show.”
Sutton spoke with UT’s account representative at Bright House, who said that if BET is chosen to be put back on campus television, another channel will have to be eliminated because of a channel limit.
“This is where a decision has to be made about what channel gets removed to make way for WUTV,” Sutton said.
He says that usually ResLife reviews an updated list of channels, but since there was no previous complaint about the removal of BET, there has been no need for a review process.
Sutton is waiting on word from ResLife on what they want him to do in regards to BET. Schofield says this issue will be addressed by RHA in the fall semester.
Schofield says newly elected RHA president Molly Murphy will have the opportunity to work with the residents to see what channel can be removed to add BET back.
No response was given from Murphy regarding this issue.