See why some WIS programs are blacked out - - Columbia, South Carolina |

See why some WIS programs are blacked out

Why are some WIS programs "blacked out" on my cable system?

WIS serves all but 10 of South Carolina's 46 counties, an unusually large coverage area. In communities outside of the Midlands, our station is subject to the Syndication Exclusivity Law or SYNDEX. This law allows local stations (such as those in Florence or Myrtle Beach, for example) to ask the local cable operator to block theWIS signal when we are carrying the same program. SYNDEX gives local stations exclusivity to syndicated shows (such as "Montel Williams" and "Entertainment Tonight") in their market. This makes it difficult for viewers who prefer to see these programs and those adjacent to them (often WIS News) without interruption. It's important to understand that neither WIS nor the cable company is responsible for SYNDEX blackouts. WIS would never intentionally block its own programming from being seen as widely as possible. Below you will find a current listing for stations/cable companies requesting SYNDEX protection:

Cable Company Program Day/Time Station
Time Warner Martha Stewart Living Sat/6-6:30A WPDE
Time Warner Live w/ Regis & Kelly M-F/10-11A WFXB
Time Warner Martha Stewart Living M-F/11A12P


Time Warner Entertainment Tonight M-F/7:30-8p WPDE
Time Warner X-Files Sat/7-8P


Time Warner X-Files Sun/11:35-12:35A


Time Warner Oprah M-F/4-5P WBTW
Time Warner Inside Edition M-F/5:30-6P WBTW
Time Warner Inside Edition Sat/5-5:30A WBTW
Northland Cablevision *Programs are blacked out according to an automated tone at varying times. WAGT


Why do cable companies "black out" WIS at other times, even when these programs aren't airing due to special news or sports coverage?

Most cable companies use automated equipment to make the blackouts work. This equipment is programmed with the regular time period of the program(s) affected by the SYNDEX blackout. When special news or sports programming changes the WIS schedule, the cable company must override the automated equipment to make sure the WIS signal is seen. WIS alerts cable companies via phone, fax and e-mail to last minute schedule changes. We are, however, dependent on them to respond to our request to remove the SYNDEX block in a timely manner.

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