More cable channels on the way in Ames

Brooke Langlitz

Planned changes in cable and Internet services for the Ames area have some ISU students looking forward to receiving more channels.

AT&T Cable Services plans to add new cable channels by Aug. 30 and high-speed Internet access by the end of the calendar year for Ames residents.

In addition to the extra channels AT&T Cable Services will provide, Pappas Broadcasting of Omaha is working to bring the WB network back into central Iowa by early June.

Some students said they would welcome the additions.

“The upgrade needs to be done. We need Comedy Central and VH1,” said Jerry Zamzow, sophomore in animal science.

“I went from having a really great cable system to having nothing here, and it sucks,” agreed Cynthia Schoenfeld, senior in political science.

Debora Blume, AT&T Cable Services regional communications director for the state of Iowa, said the additional cable channels have not been decided yet.

“The first part of the process is rebuilding the system,” Blume said. “The channel decision is not top priority right now.”

Although AT&T’s decision on which additional networks to bring to Ames will not be made for months, Pappas Broadcasting officials know they are bringing back the WB network and various other shows, including “WWF Smackdown.”

Ames has been without the WB network since October, when the channel lost its affiliate agreement with WGN in Chicago. The failed agreement upset some students who were followers of favorite WB shows.

“I really want WB back because I’m a huge fan of ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ and now I have to have my mom tape it for me,” Schoenfeld said.

“Dawson’s Creek” and the rest of the WB lineup will return to Ames in early June if the mild weather continues, said Howard Shrier of Pappas Broadcasting.

Shrier said Pappas Broadcasting decided to become a WB affiliate and bring the network to central Iowa because it is gaining popularity.

“The Des Moines market is greatly under-served, and the WB is a rapidly growing, highly desirable network,” he said.

The cost of the additional AT&T cable service has not been established, but Blume said adding more channels could increase rates.

In addition to providing different cable television channels in Ames, AT&T Cable Services will offer high-speed Internet access by the end of the calendar year. The cost will be $39.95 per month.