Arnold Schwarzenegger and California TV

posted Aug 28, 2003

Something interesting went by on my TiVo email newsletter:

Talk about a Total Recall of a WishList™ search! Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to run for governor of California in a recall election scheduled for Oct. 7 is wreaking havoc on local TV listings. Recently the Sci Fi channel became the second cable network in two days to take his movies off air, pulling an entire night of scheduled Schwarzenegger films. The cable networks are taking the steps proactively, since under current law they are technically exempt from FCC rules requiring broadcasters to give equal air time to all candidates, free of charge, if they air entertainment content featuring a political rival. (Meaning if Arnie’s films air on broadcast TV, all of the 134 other opponents in California's recall election race could demand equal time—FREE!) To fill the programming hole and perhaps to prove that truth is indeed stranger and, in fact, more ironic than even Hollywood fiction, Sci Fi offered golden state viewers a slate of California-themed disaster movies instead.

134 * 2 = 268, which is eleven days and four hours. So one 2-hour Arnold movie, accidentally aired on a station that isn't exempt, could easily cost that station an entire week without even all of the candidates demanding their time. Heads would rolls for that blunder, I'm sure!


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