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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Allied Telesis will add eight channels to its premium cable television lineup at Yokota, an AAFES official in Dallas said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

The long-awaited new selections are Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, TV Land and Spike. They’re expected to hit the airwaves by Monday.

That raises the total in Allied’s premium TV package to 71 channels, at a cost of 70 cents each, according to Larry Marshall, a strategic communications planner for Resilian Communications, the brand name for Army and Air Force Exchange Service telecommunications products.

The offering includes the free basic service, which consists of the American Forces Network, base information and local Japanese channels.

Overall charges on Allied Telesis monthly invoices can vary due to built-in discounts for customers who bundle cable, Internet and telephone services. But using the figure provided by AAFES, the cost for premium TV alone at Yokota is about $49.70.

Some changes were already in the process while others are a result of what Yokota residents asked for in a customer satisfaction survey conducted in late July, Marshall said.

In this initial satisfaction assessment, 64 percent of participants rated Allied’s service "OK" or better, according to Marshall. Of that group, 28 percent stated it was "Very Good" or "Excellent."

He didn’t say how many customers took the survey.

"Ratings below these levels are unacceptable and are being addressed through service improvements," he added.

Marshall said the survey also confirmed that customers want to watch prime-time U.S. broadcasts during evening hours at Yokota. Allied and AAFES previously said the technology to make it happen would be ready this summer.

"The procurement is taking longer than we anticipated, which we recognize disappoints many customers. We are trying to get this done as soon as possible," Marshall said in the e-mail.

Allied and AAFES plan to install sophisticated time-shift servers, he added. One is required for each channel.

Meanwhile, TiVo digital video recorders went on sale in the Yokota BX over the July Fourth weekend and response has been strong, Marshall said.

TiVo units allow viewers to record favorite programs and watch them at a convenient time.


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