CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Mediatti Broadband Communications interrupts this news story for an important announcement:
“We are not responsible for the disappearance of Fox News from our channel lineup,” said Natalie De Vito, sales and marketing manager for the cable television company that took over the service to Okinawa military bases April 15.
But the deletion turned out to be only temporary, Mediatti arranged to get Fox News back on the air in Okinawa on Friday afternoon, but not before De Vito would feel the wrath of the fans of news channel.
De Vito said SkyPerfect, which carried Fox News from the United States on its Japan satellite service decided to drop the channel beginning Aug. 1.
So, when Mediatti launched its new channel lineup last week it assigned the all-news station’s slot to the Food Channel, one of 11 new channels added to the service.
De Vito announced that customers could e-mail her at
MBCSales@Mediatti.com with any inquiries concerning the company’s expanded channel lineup and its progress in providing high-speed cable Internet service to the bases.
“We were swamped with e-mail concerning the disappearance of Fox News,” she said. “I was surprised.”
She said many of the customers blamed Mediatti for the elimination of Fox News.
“And most were not very nice about it,” she laughed. “Many started with lines like, ‘How dare you!’”
In an e-mail to a Mediatti subscriber who had complained, Janet Alshouse, a vice president for news distribution at Fox News said SkyPerfect’s contract was cancelled “because the expense of being carried on SkyPerfect is too great.”
Subscribers to SkyPerfect had to pay extra to receive Fox News.
“We had, at the most, about 4,300 paid subscribers at any time,” she wrote.
“It is not a matter of making money, it is a matter of having to pay a lot of money we never recover. We are losing millions.”
“The bad news is we had to drop Fox News and some other stations in reorganizing the lineup,” De Vito said Friday.
“The good news for our customers is we found a way to receive Fox News from another satellite feed. and it’s been restored to channel 43.”
The Food Channel, meanwhile, was moved to channel 24.
“We are still tweaking our lineup, so I hope people don’t get too used to which channel is where,” De Vito said.
Mediatti will soon post an up-to-dated list of the channel offerings online at: http://www.okinawa.usmc-mccs.org/cable/, she said.