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New TV channel broadcasts local sports, events in Lima area

By JOHN BUSH • May 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM

LIMA (TNS) — A new television station has started broadcasting live sports and community events in the Lima area, but it is lacking the support of the area's largest cable TV provider.

This TV Network, a joint venture between Tribune Media and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is broadcast locally by nearly every provider besides Spectrum, which was formerly known as Time Warner Cable. This TV is carried by the Telephone Service Company, Waldren Cable, WATCH-TV, NK-Telco, OTEC Communication Co., BTC, Kalida Telephone, Glandorf Telephone and Vaughnsville Communication.

What sets the network apart from other stations is its focus on local content, said Metro Video Productions owner Greg Phipps, who brought This TV to the Lima area.

The station’s broadcast schedule includes all Toledo Mud Hens baseball games and Toledo Walleye home hockey games, along with regional events such as the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce-sponsored mayoral debate and a town hall meeting with local U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan.

“That is community programming that no one else is offering,” Phipps said, adding that other Lima-area events will be broadcast on the network in the future.

“We’re just getting started,” he said. “We’re not going to program it all the time with local content, but we will have many more important events like election coverage, lectures and political events — anything that’s local. That’s what makes it relevant and different from the other networks.”

This TV isn’t the only network that Phipps brought to Lima. Three other channels -- Comet, GetTV and Cozi TV -- are also broadcast on each of the local service providers, aside from Spectrum. These providers cover all of Allen and Auglaize counties, most of Putnam, Van Wert and Mercer counties, and portions of Hardin, Hancock, Logan, Paulding and Shelby counties.

Comet primarily broadcasts science fiction, horror and what Phipps called “cult classic” programming, while Cozi airs classic television programs such as “Little House on the Prairie,” “Lassie,” “The Lone Ranger” and more. GetTV plays westerns and other vintage television programs owned by the Sony Corp. Comet, This TV, Cozi and GetTV can be found on channels 100, 101, 102 and 103, respectively, though this may vary on some cable systems.

“These aren't little off-beat networks, these are all from major studios,” Phipps said. “They were available in just about every other major market across the U.S., but they weren’t in Lima until recently. I just saw it as an opportunity to bring a wider array of diverse programming to the community.”

But one hurdle Phipps has yet to cross is convincing Spectrum to carry these channels, despite the fact they are available in other markets across the country.

“It’s not right that local people are paying full price and not getting the full channel lineup,” Phipps said. “It doesn’t seem very customer-oriented.”

There is hope, however. Phipps said if enough local residents call Spectrum to request these four channels, the company will consider adding them to its lineup. To request these channels, call Spectrum at 1-800-892-2253.

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.

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