Not everyone had the opportunity to watch Saturday’s Notre Dame-Navy game, which was on CBS.
KOAM, a CBS affiliate covering Joplin, Mo. and Pittsburg, Kan., as well as parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma, showed their usual slate of children’s programming instead of the game.
This drew the ire of many viewers, who took to the station’s Facebook page to voice their displeasure.
KOAM posted a status update on their Facebook page in response to the uproar.
Danny Thomas, the President and General Manager of the station, said in a statement KOAM is required by the FCC to air four hours of children’s programming each week. Thomas said the station felt they would offend upset fewer viewers by airing the FCC required line-up.
“The decision was simply what would disenfranchise the fewest people,” Thomas said in the statement.
It’s a tough position for KOAM to be in, especially with the US Open going on this weekend as well. The FCC requires over the air stations to air at least three hours of children’s programming per week. If you’ve ever watched your affiliate and seen a E/I stamp in the top right corner, that program has been approved for educational purposes by the FCC.
These programs, which are part of the Children’s Television Act, are to be 30 minutes in length, aired between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and they must be a regularly scheduled weekly program.
Could they have worked their way around it? Absolutely! Would it mean not showing a Judge Judy rerun? Yes it would! KOAM could have figured out a way to satisfy all parties.
To my knowledge, this hasn’t been an issue with other affiliates. Those that did air it Saturday morning were able to figure it out.
On a side note, the cover page for KOAM is football related.