Star network switch set for Feb. 29

By: By Chris Berendt -

StarVision customers still have a month to make DVR or other arrangements leading up to a switch between CBS and NBC network programming on the local cable provider, a swap that happens on Feb. 29.

“From a local perspective, the only thing changing is the networks,” said Jeff Shipp, vice president of Competitive & Subsidiary Operations at Star Communications. “The CBS and NBC networks are swapping. All local programming will remain the same, but WRAL and WNCN network programming will flip-flop.”

WRAL News will stay on Channel 5, StarVision HD Channel 605 and Luminous 305, as well as Fox 50, but will be an NBC affiliate. NBC (WNCN) will remain on Channel 7, StarVision HD Channel 607 and Luminous 307 and will be a CBS affiliate. WECT is unaffected, and will stay on StarVision Channel 6.

“That local affiliate programming will remain on the channels customers are accustomed to,” Shipp noted.

The Young and the Restless will still be on at 4 p.m. on WRAL, but only for the next month. After the Feb. 29 switch, it will air on the new CBS affiliate on a different channel, which will be WRAL. Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight will also still be available on WRAL-TV, however the times of these programs and others may change.

“I’ve received quite a few calls from concerned viewers about The Young and the Restless,” Shipp said. “They will be able to watch it on WRAL until Feb. 29. That morning the programming will switch and they will be able to watch it on WNCN.”

Inquiries have not just been limited to those wanting to watch or record their stories in the afternoon, but there were a number of concerns that arose after the news was announced by WRAL on Jan. 17 of the impending switch.

“Customers started calling in last Monday (Jan. 18). Many were concerned they were going to miss their CBS programming,” Shipp noted Thursday. Star officials started informing customers at that point what was going on. “We didn’t receive official notice of the change from WNCN until a few moments ago (on Jan. 28).”

NBC network programs like The Voice, The Blacklist, Blindspot, Saturday Night Live, Dateline, Meet The Press, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and NBC Sports like NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and Premier League Soccer will all now be on WRAL-TV, on Channel 5. They will air at the times to which viewers are accustomed.

DVRs will need to be reprogrammed. Those recording programs on NBC or CBS will have to set up those programs to record on their new channels starting on Feb. 29. Shipp suggests viewers check their local listings to be sure of times.

No one needs to worry about missing Super Bowl 50, he said. It will be on WRAL-TV.

“All these changes will be taking place after that,” Shipp noted. “They should not see a change in their local programming, just the network programming that will be swapping the morning of Feb. 29.”

Capitol Broadcasting owns WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting Company President and CEO Jim Goodmon said the move from CBS to NBC was a positive one.

“We chose a partner committed to preserving the future of local broadcasting,” Goodmon said in a prepared statement following the announcement. “It was clear to us NBC understands the value local stations bring to the network/affiliate partnership.”

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

By Chris Berendt

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.