Sunday, October 26, 2008


Back in 1971 or 72 I made my first visit to New York. It was the time in the UK when the introduction of commercial radio was top of the media agenda. I went first to New York and then to Toronto to talk to and to learn from some of the broadcasting giants.

I formed a very close relationship with NBC in the Big Apple and when I visited New York on a more frequent basis in the early 1980s I discovered NBC TV and adored the fantastic Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. NBC has always had a special place in my heart ever since.

Like many Britons in Spain I signed up with satellite station Vía Digital in the late 1990s because it carried BBC Prime. Sadly, nay tragically, that was later ditched and Vía Digital merged with Canal Plus.

One of the delights of the foreign stations carried by Canal Plus is CNBC. This is a business news station but at the weekends loosens its tie and brings entertainment programming. I say delights because I suddenly discovered that on Saturday and Sundays nights at 21.00 I could watch recent episodes of The Tonight Show now hosted by Jay Leno. This is followed by the wacky Conan O’Brien with The Late Show.

Now make no mistake NBC is one of the giants of the broadcast world but when it transmits its weekend programming C-NBC becomes C-RAP.

It broadcasts travel shows that were made in 2002 or 2003 so the facts and prices are basically meaningless.

If I see Marie Helvin one more time on a tour of Tokyo (five times in recent weekends) I will commit hari-kari.

Why as NBC owns the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, a programme that is transmitted nightly, are the shows at least two weeks old and in the past fortnight the same one has been repeated for the last two weekends? And probably will be shown again tonight!

On its business programming C-NBC prides itself as being “required viewing”. Unfortunately at weekends this major broadcaster is becoming a complete waste of air space. In short, C-RAP.

1 comment:

Lenox said...

I also have the Canal Satelite system, which, like Sky, has an abundance of movie channels, sport channels, documentaries, music, kiddywink (few of which are worth watching - despite the 'translation into original' button on the telemando) and news channels. Unlike Sky, however, it also shows 'European movies' and of course, it is about Spain - the country where we live (a lot of exiled Brits living here didn't know that I betcha).
The Spanish, however, make far better TV news that the Brits (Sky News? News channel of the year? You think?) or the Americans (Fox Nutwork - fair an' balanced).
Happily, the best American 'late night' comedy, like Jon Stewart, can be seen comfortably on the web (the daily show dot com).