Popular TV networks going ‘Dark’ on UMKC’s campus

U-News Staff

Alan Adams is not a happy ROO. For two semesters now, he has been calling Residential Life about the disappearance of cable channels from UMKC housing units. This week was the tipping point.

“We lost at least five more channels this week,” he said. “The good channels. It has got to stop.”

Adams, who used to work for a cable company himself, says UMKC has been aware of the issue for months but has not fully committed to addressing the problem.

“I just don’t get why they are dragging their feet on this. We pay enough money for them to not allow this to happen,” he said.

He is not the only one upset. Residential Life said a large group of students have already complained about the missing channels, which are the result of networks switching to an all-digital format, making it impossible to view them without a digital receiver box. Popular networks like MTV, BET, VH1 and Nickelodeon have already gone dark, with the promise of more stations also on the chopping block.

So, why isn’t the problem an easy fix?

According to a representative from Time Warner Cable, the cable company’s contract with the university prohibits individual students from handling these issues on their own.  Students must go through the university to get the matter resolved — something Adams says he hasn’t had much luck with.

The good news is student complaints seem to have already reached the Residential Life Office. In fact, the office expects a visit from a Time Warner representative in the near future and assures students they are doing all they can to rectify the issue. For now, however, UMKC students may have to rely on sites like Hulu or Netflix for streaming their favorite shows.