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'Scandal', 'Suits' complaints futile

Published:Wednesday | August 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A large billboard for the popular series 'Scandal'. - Contributed PHOTOS
A large billboard for the popular series 'Suits'. - Contributed PHOTOS

Despite some complaints from the public, the Broadcasting Commission says there is nothing it can do about a local free-to-air television station acquiring exclusive rights to show two popular US series, Suits and Scandal, in Jamaica. Suits has already been blocked on USA and Scandal will be blocked on ABC when the new season begins in September.

"It is the people who own programmes who determine who they sell it to. There is nothing the Commission can do if a station acquires exclusive rights to carry content in Jamaica," said Cordel Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission.

He acknowledged that the commission has received complaints, but not a significant number. And previously there were complaints about the rights to a popular US programme being acquired by a local television station. "We have received some (complaints), but in comparison to complaints about The Voice, I wouldn't say it is significant. The complaints are not overwhelming. I suspect people now have a better appreciation that the Broadcasting Commission does not regulate the commercial affairs of broadcasters," Green told The Gleaner.

His suggestion is that dissatisfied persons take the matter to the TV station in question. "It is pointless complaining to the regulators about these things. We don't run the stations and we can't tell them what to air or when to air it," he said.

However, the complaints have been numerous on social media with many persons voicing disapproval about the television station acquiring the rights to show Suits, which is currently in its fourth season, and Scandal, for which season four will begin in September. Others questioned why they should pay their monthly cable bill, while some said some sort of protest is needed.

Another person had questions about whether or not current episodes will be shown.