What’s on TV tonight? TV Times knows

FILLERS

BY JOHN CULLEN

Some readers may have noticed in the last couple of weeks that TV Times, which is part of our Friday paper, no longer carries channel numbers for stations other than the Sioux City network channels. It’s not a big deal but I thought I’d explain, because one reader asked about it.

We decided to remove these numbers because they were not accurate, as local cable companies as well as satellite broadcaster were constantly changing the station lineups without telling us. Or they changed ownership and the whole lineup went topsy turvy.

Plus, some stations had more than one channel number, depending on whether they were in the standard definition or high definition tier. It became impossible to keep track all of the changing numbers so we decided to drop them. The channels. other than the Sioux City network affiliates, are listed alphabetically in TV Times so they are still easy to follow.

If you have a favorite channel that is not listed, let us know and we’ll try to add it to the grid. We currently list 77 channels that are common to cable systems Mediacom, Long Lines and Alta Tec; satellite systems Direct TV and Dish Network; and internet streaming services such as Directv Now, Hulu, Playstation Vue and Sling.

The Storm Lake Times is one of the few newspapers that still runs TV listings. We’ve kept TV Times in our lineup because in Iowa, watching TV is the main pastime in the nearly six months of winter.

Ours are compiled by Gracenote, a company based in upstate New York which was bought from the Chicago Tribune and then bought out again by the Nielsen company, which is known for its viewership ratings. They’re not cheap to produce but our readers like them, especially Mary and me, and that’s what really counts.

I rely on TV Times for listings, although I tried the rolling grid on the cable system for a while. I switched back to TV Times because I didn’t like having to scroll through all the channels on the screen. It’s a lot easier to scan the entire grid on the printed page. Plus, I can tell everything that’s playing each night with a single glance.

Thanks for reading The Times.