Q. Hey, we lost the El Rey Network channel on Spectrum. Where is it? They haven’t told us anything, but it’s gone all of sudden when I looked in the guide. We want it back immediately. — Beryl, Rochester, New York.
For those unfamiliar with the channel, the El Rey Network, which was founded by film director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids), offers a variety of shows targeted to Hispanic Americans such as The Director’s Chair, United Tacos of America, Vampiro Unleashed and iMaria. The channel also plays movies, usually action-oriented with an Hispanic theme such as Rodriguez’s Desperado (pictured above.)
And, yes, El Rey was removed from the Charter Spectrum lineup earlier this month. The cable operator has not revealed why, but it notified subscribers in a programming notice last July that it would be removed in September. That’s usually a sign that a pay TV service no longer wants to carry the channel due to low ratings and/or high carriage fees. If it was taken down because of a last-minute failure to sign a new carriage deal, subscribers wouldn’t get a removal notice so far in advance.
Charter’s Twitter customer service page says it has no information on when the channel will return, or if it will return.
We have no information if the channel will be added back to our lineup. ^RT
— Ask Spectrum (@Ask_Spectrum) September 27, 2020
And a Charter moderator on its subscriber forum will only acknowledge that it’s gone.
“Apologies for the disappointment,” the moderator told one complaining subscriber. “Notification of the removal of the El Rey network was provided via your billing statement messages in the beginning of July, 2020.”
However, the channel’s disappearance has upset some Charter Spectrum subscribers who are particularly incensed that the cable operator won’t divulge any details regarding the removal.
“No matter what you say I never received any notice of this channel going away,” says ‘Tek360.’ “No email. No letter. Nothing. I don’t understand how you think everyone got a notice of some sort. I went today to watch a show and that’s how I found out El Rey was no longer available.
The other day I went to watch the El Rey network on Spectrum. Instead of El Rey there was an on screen notice: This Channel Is No Longer Available. I checked some online forums which said Spectrum announced it's removal in July. I didn't know that. But there is no reason given.
— Terry Aichele (@hermistonsports) September 25, 2020
@Elreynetwork I am a Spectrum subscriber and El Rey is now GONE from our lineup! When I go to the channel for you it says that PROGRAMMING IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON THIS CHANNEL! WTF? What's going on??? I want my El Rey back!
— Dr. LezAnne Edmond (@DrDiva82) September 25, 2020
The TV Answer Man has asked Charter’s corporate press team for an explanation on the removal and will report back here if we get more information.
Update: Charter spokesman released this statement to the TV Answer Man on Sunday:
“We regularly review and refresh our network offerings to ensure we are optimizing value for our customers, and this decision was part of that process.”
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann