Why Some ‘Mad Men’ Fans May Mistakenly Miss Sunday’s Episode

Jon Hamm Mad Men Don Draper

Time Warner Cable eliminates East Coast feeds for six channels in southern California

There could be a lot of “Mad Men” fans grumbling on the West Coast come Sunday.

Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles accustomed to watching new episodes of the AMC series in high definition at 7 p.m. PT will be in for a surprise when the series airs three hours later instead. What’s more, those who programmed their TW Cable-issued DVRs to record the channel at that time will not only fail to see that episode appear on their hard drives, but will find the pre-set series recording mysteriously deleted.

That’s a result of the cable operator’s move Thursday to replace the East Coast feeds of six different channels that are available to nearly 2 million subs in Los Angeles and surrounding areas in Colorado and Arizona with West Coast feeds. The other affected HD channels include Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Encore.

TW Cable cautioned affected subs the day the switch took effect via both e-mails and warnings available in the message sections of their DVRs. “Please note that this change may affect scheduled DVR recordings and may require you to reschedule future recordings.”

But given most subs aren’t accustomed to communicating with their pay-TV provider beyond paying their monthly bills, it’s highly likely many subs won’t realize they missed their favorite programs until after they’ve aired. TW Cable didn’t give much time between issue the warning and the feed switch taking effect, either.

Then there’s the matter of deleting a pre-set recording time; apparently it’s easier for TW Cable to just remove that then program DVRs to switch a pre-set to the new time.

But this kind of feed conversion isn’t unprecedented; pay-TV providers typically make these kind of switches once the programmer makes a separate feed available. Most other channels on the West Coast already have West Coast feeds.

A spokesman for the cable operator’s West Coast office issued a statement: “We are pleased to work with our programming partners to now be able to deliver the preferred West Coast feed to our Southern California customers for the six networks affected by the change today.”

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  1. Ell says:

    Jack asses do what they want with my 80.00 month and give me less than preferred service!

  2. Sherry says:

    I know exactly what Tim is talking about — the Sunday night TV schedule can be tricky to navigate and coordinate if we don’t have the option for an East Coast feed for certain shows. It turns into gridlock, and a juggling act of what to watch when it is first airing vs. what to DVR and what to catch a repeat of 4 days later, what to record in the middle of the night, etc. Plus, those of us who are eagerly looking forward to the final 8 “Breaking Bad” episodes probably don’t want to have to wait until 10 p.m. to see them when they begin airing in August. By that time spoilers have already begun to appear online or even in TV teasers for the news at 11 p.m. We’d like the option to watch the East Coast feed.

    Also, I have noticed that more than 6 networks/channels on my channel line-up have been affected. I am no longer getting the East Coast feed for E! and Style, nor am I getting the East Coast feed for the Food Network or Travel Channel.

  3. Tim says:

    How exactly is this “preferred?”

    I prefer to watch East coast feeds at an earlier time, All this does is make my DVR log jam on Sunday nights more difficult.

    • FrankM says:

      It is “preferred” to air commercials (and the programming between them) when more people are available to watch. This is why NBC always sticks with the Olympics tape delay no matter how big the outcry is to show them live.

  4. This sucks. I hate Time Warner.

  5. ScriptLad says:

    My DVR made the change automatically.

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