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Hiroshi66 Profile
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posticon UPDATES ABOUT UTB


Please read this post carefully for some important information. This is a developing story, so please stay tuned for updates.

-Hiroshi66, J-Forum Moderator

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

It has become clear to me over the last few months that the quality of UTB's communication with their viewership has been on the decline. The website/schedule was not being updated, the most popular time slot for dramas - Sundays at 9:00p - has been vacant, and UTB was starting to air new dramas without any advertising or promotions. I wondered why, and now we have received some disturbing news via a press release on UTB's website.

Upcoming Changes to UTB‘s Broadcasting Channel and Broadcast Schedule

The announcement is as follows:

引用 (quote):

Until now we have been broadcasting on channel 18.2 as a 24 hour a day television station.
Starting on September 11th, 2016 we will be switching from channel 18.2 to KSCI channel 18.1.
We will air our programs starting at 6:30pm to 8:00pm every Sunday.

Channel 18.1 is the main channel for KSCI and serves both the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.
It will be free over the air but will also be available through other cable and satellite services such as Time Warner Cable, DIRECTV, and U-verse TV. 

Programs that will air from September 11th will be NHK Taiga drama “Sanadamaru”, Japanese music talk show “Enkame”, and local community news program “SoCal Japan”.

The current programming on channel 18.2 will broadcast until September 3rd, 2016.



It also includes this flyer in Japanese, which basically states that UTB 18.2 as a channel will cease to exist on Saturday, September 3, 2016, and that UTB's programming will move to KSCI 18.1 (or Channel 18 on cable outlets like Time Warner) where it will air 1.5 hours of programming on Sunday nights, from 6:30p to 8:00p. It states that people can enjoy KSCI 18.1 whether they are viewing using a digital antenna, cable, or satellite.

This is the same arrangement UTB had before the digital conversion. Before moving to 18.2 and airing 24 hours of Japanese programming, UTB only aired a few hours of programming on Channel 18.1 on Saturday and Sunday evenings. However, now, they will only air programming on Sundays for about one and a half hours... times must be tough. I suspect that this might have been a financial decision, although this is pure speculation on my part.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

So, what does this mean?

* UTB Channel 18.2 will be defunct effective Saturday, September 3, 2016. I don't know what will happen to this channel. Since it will be 'vacant', KSCI will most likely sell it off to another station, but I doubt it will be a Japanese station.

* UTB will move its programming to Channel 18.1, where programs will be aired from 6:30p to 8:00 on Sunday nights only.

Their press release above makes it seem like they will only air 3 programs (1 drama, 1 news bulletin, and 1 variety show) which makes sense, since they are only working with 1.5 hours of programming time here. Out of these 3 programs, the only drama is Sanadamaru - the Taiga drama.

What then will happen to all the other dramas UTB is airing? Partners, Amachan, Midnight Diner... It makes sense now why they never replaced the Sunday night drama. Why do it if the channel is going off the air? We haven't heard so officially,, but if UTB is only working with 1.5 hours of programming a week and only mentioned the Taiga in their press release, this could potentially mean that no other dramas will be aired in the future on UTB.

9/3 is a little over a month away, so the current seasons of [i}Partners and Midnight Diner could potentially finish airing in the time we have left. But what does this mean for the other dramas? Will they just stop airing when the 'expiration date' of 9/3 arrives?

Thoughts, comments, concerns? Please feel free to share below. I will keep you updated if I see anything new on UTB's website.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Update (7/30/16)

Per an e-mail conversation I had with UTB, I learned the following information:

1. Enkame will air at 6:30p, UTB news at 6:55p, and the Taiga from 7:00p to 8:00p.

2. As of now, the only drama that will be aired on UTB is the Taiga.

3. Partners 14, Midnight Diner 2, and Amachan will all finish airing by the 9/3 cut-off date.

Last edited by Hiroshi66, 3/10/2017, 9:07 am
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merrie Profile
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Re:


This week, there were three episodes of Ama-chan instead of two. They're probably trying to finish it before 9-3-16.
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Hiroshi66 Profile
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引用 (quote):

merrie wrote:

This week, there were three episodes of Ama-chan instead of two. They're probably trying to finish it before 9-3-16.



Ahh, that's interesting. I haven't been watching Amachan, so thanks for sharing that, Merrie.

It might also be why they chose to air the mid-season special episode of Partners in one sitting instead of dragging it out over the course of three weeks like they usually do. I think they will be able to finish Partners by September 3.

Midnight Diner 2 might finish by the 'expiration date' as well, although at this rate, who knows when we'll see Season 3.

i'm not 100% sure, but from what it sounds like, the only J-drama that will be on the air from now on will be the Taiga...
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merrie Profile
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While I like the historical dramas very much, if I had to choose just one drama, it would be Partners.
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Hiroshi66 Profile
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Re: NOTICE: UTB 18.2 TO GO OFF THE AIR EFFECTIVE 9/3/16


I suspect we'll be able to finish off Partners 14 before 18.2 goes off the air, but this doesn't bode well for the future.

Season 15 is currently filming in Japan, so it'll be a while until it is ready to air here anyway, but if this new format change means we're only going to get one drama (most likely the Taiga) at a time, this could potentially be the last season of Partners we'll be getting for a long while.

I just e-mailed UTB asking them about this, and whether all the current dramas will finish airing before 18.2 goes away. I also asked them about whether or not it is true that the Taiga will be the only drama UTB will air when it returns to KSCI 18.1 in a limited capacity.
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unicorn2004 Profile
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I guess that is why they have been rushing through Love Live! last month.

---
http://pikapal91746.livejournal.com/
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Re: NOTICE: UTB 18.2 TO GO OFF THE AIR EFFECTIVE 9/3/16


What disappointing news! I remember many years ago that the only program available was the Taiga, but then it was on Saturday night—without e-subs.

Well, this looks like the end of my favorite station, UTB 18.2. I'll still watch the Taiga on 18.1, but the EnkaTainment and SoCal news just doesn't do much for me. If I were from Japan, or part of the Japanese community here, I would probably find it more interesting. And they are an important demographic. Without them, I would never have been introduced to Japanese culture as thoroughly and wonderfully as I have been.

I appreciate that UTB has presented many really good dramas and programs over the years. It was sort of a Japanese paradise in many ways for those of us who are not ethnically Japanese. Thanks, UTB!
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Hiroshi66 Profile
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Re: NOTICE: UTB 18.2 TO GO OFF THE AIR EFFECTIVE 9/3/16


Nchristi, you echoed my sentiment exactly. UTB 18.2 was a blessing to us, allowing fans to enjoy Japanese programming without having to watch it online. In a sense, it feels like we watched UTB grow - from one night a week, to two nights a week, and finally to a 24 hour channel in its own right. Now, we are watching it go back to one night a week.

I wonder what the reasons are? Is it financial? I think UTB should have broken a deal with cable providers like Time Warner in addition to continuing to broadcast via digital antenna. Many households have cable only, and Time Warner does carry all of the 18.x channels now. The only one they don't carry is 18.2, believe it or not. I really wanted to watch UTB so I purchased a digital antenna and converter box, but there might be households using cable/satellite who wouldn't be able to watch UTB at all. This might have made an impact on the ratings.

in a sense, the issue could be a greater indication of the declining quality of J-drama as a whole. The quality of Japanese programs have slightly declined as of late, with the advent of the dramanga genre. Even a few Japanese acquaintances and friends of mine have commented that they don't watch dramas anymore because of this very reason. Maybe by canceling everything except for the Taiga, UTB wants to start fresh and work its way up again.

I will miss UTB and am thankful to them for their hard work over the years. I always get the feeling that UTB checks this forum (I don't know why! LOL) so if they are reading this -- Thank you, UTB!

-----

I posted the following update above, but will include it here as well.

Per an e-mail conversation I had with UTB, I learned the following information:

1. Enkame will air at 6:30p, UTB news at 6:55p, and the Taiga from 7:00p to 8:00p.

2. As of now, the only drama that will be aired on UTB is the Taiga.

3. Partners 14, Midnight Diner 2, and Amachan will all finish airing by the 9/3 cut-off da
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merrie Profile
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Thank you for the updates.

This is not drama-related, and maybe you all know this, but there is some Japanese programming on KCET. NHK news, some documentaries. I don't really watch it all that much because I have had 18-2. Anyway, check out ch. 28 and one of its subchannels, which is always Japanese programming whenever I happen to turn to it. It is channel 28-4 -- now called NHK World. I see one program listed as a drama, but the listings are not always correct and I haven't watched it, so not sure it is really a drama. it is called Face to Face, of varying lengths. I actually just turned it on, and it does not seem to be a drama.

If anyone has any source for Partners other than TV, especially with English subtitles, please let us know. I understand we are not supposed to talk about this here, but I need to see next season of Partners! Send a private message, if necessary, and a note here to check private messages.

Here's an idea for UTB -- when the current Taiga drama ends, how about replacing it with Partners?

Last edited by merrie, 7/30/2016, 6:24 pm
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Hiroshi66 Profile
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Re: NOTICE: UTB 18.2 TO GO OFF THE AIR EFFECTIVE 9/3/16


Yes, NHK World is now a 24-hour channel in its own right. UTB used to air a lot more NHK World programs on 18.2, but now that they have their own over-the-air channel, UTB probably realized it wasn't smart to compete with one of the KCET 28.x sub-channels, which are much more well-known than the KSCI ones. At least we can still watch NHK Newsline!

Regarding Partners, Season 14 just stopped airing in Japan, and Season 15 is still in production. They might not have even started filming yet, so even if 18.2 wasn't going away, it would be at least a year until Season 15 would air here in Los Angeles. Season 15 won't start airing until long after the current Taiga drama finishes in February. Hopefully, UTB's financial situation will improve by then and they can consider airing two dramas - the Taiga and Partners.

The Taigas are aired one after the other (even in Japan) so I suspect the new one will begin right after Sanadamaru finishes airing. If UTB airs Season 15 in a year after it airs in Japan, it would probably be in another time slot - I don't see them replacing the Taiga with it. But, who knows what will happen by then.

Merrie, I didn't know you are such a big Partners fan. We still have a few episodes remaining in Season 14. If you like it so much, you should participate in the drama discussion with us! emoticon
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