TV station switches local channels

| 08/06/2010

(CNS): TV viewers could experience a sense of panic this weekend as they switch back and forth between channels 9 and 12 searching for the World Cup in vain. However, all will be well once they switch to 24 and 27, the new homes of cable channels Island 24 and Cayman 27 — which the local TV station says makes a lot more sense. From midnight on Friday 11 June, the channels will both switch to their new homes and will be broadcasting all of the live action from South Africa. The two free-over-air channels have always been on UHF 24 and 27, but because there were only 12 cable channels when WestStar began, they were placed on 9 and 12.

As CITN readies for a broadcast re-launch and what the station said would be “exciting changes this summer,” Weststar said it made sense to move the two stations to the correlating cable channels.
This means that Fox moves to channel 12 and Disney moves to channel 9. An electronic notice has been placed on the two cable networks so that regular viewers know where to find their favourite programmes.
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  1. rob green says:

    I feel really ripped off. I got HD following Westar advertising earlier in the year. Half way through the England v USA game the ABC HD channel went down & I had to switch to 24. It was like taking off a pair of glasses. The picture, sound and overall coverage on 24 is very poor.

    How can I pay $150 a month and then they block ESPN, ABC & ABC HD. It’s either shameless greed or complete incompetence. Didn’t they know that the world cup was coming.

    Either way please switch it back on or give me my money back.

    By the way if anyone is considering HD, think twice unless you watch the Food Network. Westar true to form.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad to read this. Have been debating the switch and was almost there.

      I’ll wait now.

      We can only hope that someone that can actually make a DIFFERENCE will have read all the comments.

      It would be different if we were paying what the service is worth which is about $35-40 for basic. But to pay over twice that amount for nothing in return when everyone knows it is pirated is just a thieving shame.

      Even watching it is condoning it but we aren’t even getting the benefit!

    • Anonymous says:

      From what I understand from a friend.  IMC out of Jamaica payed FIFA for exclusive rights in this region.  Digicel paid IMC to be the official advertising sponsor for the Carribbean… hence Digicel does not want to lose their exclusivity in sponsoring the FIFA World Cup and does not want WestStar airing other content.  From what I heard (unverified) Digicel went to their lawyers when they found out WestStar was airing the games on other channels.  If WestStar and CITN had not paid for the service from IMC, we would not have the World Cup on cable at all.  I’m glad I can at least watch!

  2. Anonymous says:

    And please, please, please could we get rid of that terrible CBS channel – I have had enough of Joey and his parrot!

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with this comment. Joey, his parrot, and his "hat-hat-hat" have to go.

    • Anonymous says:


      I have actually STOPPED watching CBS because of his inane chitter!!

      Cannot stand that buffoon! It makes matters worse that they repeat repeat rerun rerun rinse and repeat!


  3. Rectus femoris says:

     Something should be made clear here. Declaring Weststar to be a horrible company, which it is, is not a condemnation of CITN’s news crew. CITN actually does a very good job in comparison with any other small population society. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hear Lime is going to get a cable company started soon. They just need to increase the bandwith they already have with their DSL service and it could get off the ground pretty easily. I don’t think they would need much for headend facilities, they could just get the signals from somebody like Flow sent to them via fibre conection. Plus, in theory, they could offer video in demand and other interactive services.

    Oh, and what is up with the 16 HD channels that West Star has? I think Dish Network offers like 150!?!? Also the compression rate is so high on those channels they are not even close to as clear as dish.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Lime can’t get their current service up to par – they better stay out of TV!

    • Anonymous says:

      And Dish Network is illegal in the Cayman Islands….  

      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot! Are you seriously trying to  tell us a brilliant man like Charlie Ergen (Echostar/Dish Network) doesn’t knowabout the subscriptions to Dish Network through companies like Dish Direct/Home and Office? Maybe you are thinking of the renegade suppliers where you can access all the scrambled channels through a modified chip but these should be closed down so the rest of us can pay our money and watch a decent picture XXXXX.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion the standard of news-presenting on local TV is, without exception, very professional, and I would like to publically put that on record. Well done Ms April . When was the last time anyone saw any live news-reader flustered or stumbling? Donna Bush in particular is clearly unflappable and a broadcasting expert.

    Even John Foster, well, we love you Johnnie (you make us feel good no matter what!). OK, there are the unfortunate constant inaccuracies of current &projected temperatures, and the cliches (its not your fault JF – it’s either rainy season or its not, no matter how you dress it up!). But John, you are clearly a true showman and a character in a sea of bland on the US networks.

    What lets the show down is the technical back up; the poor sound, the dated graphics, the text mis-spellings, the delays, the lack of synch, the awful quality clip replays of sports events from the night before.

    But I give the 6 oclock news 8/10 all things considered. Well done.

    PS. How do you get away with the NFL predictions competitons? – dare I say it that’s gambling dude , no different to a church raffle!

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    What a ridiculous company they are!!!!

    Way over charged. Crap service. Where to start.

    I complained to them before that when you need service you have to take a day of work, because the best they can do is call you an hour before. I was told by the customer service lady that people say this all the time. So its falling on deaf ears. Well some people live in West Bay, East End, etc, and cannot make it in that timeframe as some might have taken their lunch already. So do the service guys not get a work day sheet? Are the drivers told at the same time? Seriously. 

    All the stations keep freezing. Some in Spanish. I see that they take their feed from Dish Network. As it pops up on certain nights. It is soooooo annoying when you seethe picture say ‘press select to view’. Well if I only could. 

    I would not be surprised if they pay a very low price for Dish Network, and then charge all of us outrageous prices, while they make tons of cash. Hence why the channels go to saver mode. They need to pay someone overtime to sit their and flick thru the channels and when it says press select, then press it. Its the least they can do with all they charge us. Its proper annoying as all the last few channels this happened to are most of my favourites, channels 10/14/20/28/44/46.   

    Funny that this post started out telling us that channels would switch around, and not one comment has been about the change.

    I hope they read into this and do something about it.

    Then again, I don’t really care about then, I’m sooooo looking forward to this new company coming out that will have different packages for people, even ones for Europeans, and even Indians and Filipinos, so I hear.

    Bye bye Weststar/CITN

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sure they can be a little unreliable but they’re way better than other cable providers in the Caribbean! I assume the Spanish is because they’re purchasing programming from companies that sometimes group them in with Latin America. If you’ve ever had to purchase commodities you’ll know that happens all the time! There’s no competition because it’s too small of a place for it to be feasible. 

  8. anonymous says:

    Why do certain channels disappear (like the cartoon network) and you never hear anything about it or an explanation or an apology. They just stick some crap there and expect you to watch it.  Poor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Providers have copyright (domestic and international) and other issues to deal with.  When these issues rear their heads the provider will change the rules for the broadcaster.  ‘Cartoon Network is no longer available in your region, but we have ToonCast!’ is what they may say.  And/or, ‘TruTV from North America is no longer available due to international copyright laws, and your region is now TruTV – Latin America… However, almost all programming can be in English!’ is another that the provider may say.  Sorry people… it’s either WestStar changes to the provider’s demands, or drops the channel completely.

  9. Gooooolllllllllll! says:

    I really hope the World Cup matches being played on 24 and 27 are not from the US feeds, would much prefer to hear Spanish commentary that I can’t understand a word of than the garbage and propoganda that spews from the mouths of the US commentators.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, maybe you should search elsewhere to find the matches in spanish then. Dont get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the language but, many of the complaints are about weststar switching to spanish on channel 44 so we don’t need any more channels where we will have to get a translator just to watch soccer.

      • Joga Bonito says:

        Can some please translate "soccer" – I think it is a game play by schoolgirls in California that is a non-contact form of football.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s the MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD and not just during World Cup time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. I watched a game last week on a US station and had to turn the volume off as the commentary was so annoying.

      There is no such thing as defensive and offensive plays in football. The coaches do not call time out. Under no circumstances would you have a "play by play highlights reel"

      On the positive side I watched someone last night on US TV tell the nation that the US team were genuine contenders and he managed to keep a straight face! Later in the broadcast I believe they must have fired him for injecting crystal meth.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely agree that the programming and services (internet, customer service, etc.) from WestStar are absolutely appalling.  I do not know a single soul (and I know many on-island) who has not had repeated problems with WestStar over one thing or another.  Off the top of my head:

    1.  Customer Service is abysmal to say the least – appointments are made, people take a whole day off work and nobody turns up or even has the decency to call in advance to tell you they’re not going to turn up.  Make another appointment the same thing happens, over and over again, rae, rae, rae, until you use up almost the entire years vacation entitlement (in most other countries you could claim compensation from them for loss of vacation entitlement);

    2.  XXXXXX;

    3.  Insisting on collecting payment from customers who have had no service for weeks, sometimes months; who have tried and tried again to get WestStar to fix the service – can’t get a fix but still get billed and disconnection notices for a service they are not receiving.  Again, in most other countries, if you don’t get the service you are contracted to receive, you receive credit for the period without service and if without service for an extended time, you receive compensation… but oh no, not with WestStar – pay up or shut up.

    4.  Appalling internet service at extortionate rates regardless what level or plan you have chosen.  I am on a Gold plan and am getting a service more equivalent to a rusty old tin can.  Connection constantly dropping, impossible to download anything and yet paying $70 a month for it?  I know many in similar positions.  Test your own service at and see for yourselves.  My ‘Gold’ service gets:

    "Very poor. Real-time Internet application performance will suffer greatly on such a connection. Test to other servers to confirm the result, but definitely talk to your ISP about troubleshooting the issue.

    MOS lower than 2.50 (Example – a ping above 500 ms with 20% packet loss)"

    Despite informing WestStar of this on several occasions, they continue to do nothing about it – not even making the right noises – just not interested at all.
    I wish we had the option of being able to go to alternative providers, but I can’t get a better internet service with Digicel or LIME (who are just as bad) and can’t get cable elsewhere so WestStar have themselves a nice little monopoly yes, and so long as that continues, they will continue to take the pi$$ of us all.  I got rid of my cable, and its not a decision I regret – don’t miss the TV at all.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the person who suggested they should have an (independent) regulator.
    • Anonymous says:

      I can relate to your grief. Everything you’ve mentioned here with regards to Weststar’s service is absolutely correct. It is an absolute waste of money and time. It has been more than 4 years now since I got rid of the service and I agree: DON’T NEED IT. My family and I enjoy DVD’s without interruption of service. However, with regards to LIME, it may be expensive but a whole lot better than what it used to be. I have no complaints there. Hope it improves for you.

  11. Anonymous9 says:

    Hahahaha!! Finally, the can is open on WestStar!

    Let’s see, where to start…

    The time is ALWAYS wrong. Jumpy, Spanish,  cuts out at crucial scenes and dialog, overpriced, underserviced, monopoly!

    I’m bored now, can’t be bothered to get into this

    We all know it SUCKS.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank god for this news report.  I don’t know what I would have come Monday the 14th when I wouldn’t have been able to find Johnnie Foster’s weather report.  It would have been absolute mayhem!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Any one else getting rather fed up with the constant message scrolling along and taking up 1/4 of the TV screen on the Fox channel telling us about this move?! Surely flashing it up say at the start of a program, at adverts and at the end of programs would be enough. As it is I can hardly stand to watch The Simpsons on fox now due to the annoying message being there CONSTANTLY!

    • Rectus femoris says:

      You are absolutely correct. What sort of cable exec runs an oversized obnoxious fast crawler day and night on a popular channel? Amazing! I can only assume that the people who run WestStar never actually watch it. They must have satellite tv at home. Only possible explanation.

      the biggest scam of all is that Westar rakes in millions for a horrible service and puts relatively little back into CITN. That’s why we have so little local programming. 



  14. Oliver says:

    As far as I am concerned Westar need to review their rates & service in general. They are charging too much for stuff they get free, XXXXX. I only wish they could get some competition, Oh yea…… I do beleive something is in the pipeline, be warned

    Westar TV service is  poor, their signal, their customer service, their equipment you name it. for what they charge it should be first class. I use to be a customer but now that I have direct TV which cost USD$400 per year even thou I lose signal now and then, it is still better that Westar and when I lose signal I read a book or go for a run etc

    Get your act together man, you are losing it


    • Anonymous says:

      And their billing policies suck. They make the bill due on the 20th of each month and charge $10 late fee if not paid by the 1st of the next month. That is not so bad if we get paid on say the 26th. you still have a few days before the end of the month. Except, come February, when you only have 2 days from pay day to the 1st of March. As in my case, I pay my cable bill religiously on my pay day via my bank’s online facility and in February was no exception. However, February 26 fell on Friday which means that the banks payment to Wesstar was late. Now, not knowing all this, I continued Paying online without looking at the bills. Low and behold, come May my cable is cut off. When I checked with them I find out that I owe $30 now as there is a recurring monthly late charge for any outstanding amount on the account. There is also a reconnection fee of $20. My bad, my loss I guess.

      Well, the only thing is that their Programming is such crap, no one is willing to Pirate their boxes like they do the Satellite boxes as its not really worthwhile. But these poor customer service may encourage some smart engineer to figure out how it is done and then they won’t have any more Customers.

      • Anon says:

        Agree with you on this point. See how fast they’re ready to disconnect? Such a pity they find it hard to apply that speed to solving problems or coming out to people’s homes when they’re called.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Weststar really needs to revamp ALL of its programming. Why are there feeds that are broadcasted in Spanish? WHats up with all the jumping of the picture? All of the ‘freezing’ of pictures. You guys really need to get on the ball and ensure that the channels are being broadcasted in ENGLISH.

    After all, this is an ENGLISH speaking country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    For the price the consumers pay- the service is totally ancient and almost pre-historic.

    Finally, why cant Weststar get all of the network feeds out of South FLorida.

    They already have NBC and ABC so why not get CBS and FOX.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can someone confirm whether or not these 2 local channels will still be available after June 11 to non-cable subscribers?

    • Anonymous says:

      Local channels will be the same as they were before. The only difference is that cable subscribers will find Channel 24 on Channel 24 and Cayman 27 on Channel 27.

  17. Anonymous says:

    weststar……one of the most frustrating things about living in cayman….premium price for third world service…..

  18. Anon says:

    Wondering when someone from the tv station can tell us when channel 44 (Tru TV) will revert to its former feed where there are much better shows and the commercials are in english?. I’ve been calling customer service for weeks now and I keep hearing the same story about this particular feed is for the Caribbean and that’s why the commericals are in spanish. Helloooooo????? We might be in the Caribbean but we speak ENGLISH here so why are we paying to listen to something we don’t understand?

    I also asked about the annoying and loud intermission music and repetitive weather forecasts that are on channel 15 (Headline News) and was given some other kind of silly excuse about a different feed too. How many of you have had to jump for the remote control to turn down the volume on this channel whenever they go on break? This is ridiculous!!!

    My argument is, we as customers expect to receive what we are paying for and from my experience, it would appear that our complaints or comments are falling on deaf ears, specifically in relation to the two channels I mentioned. DirectTV here I come!

    • Anonymous says:

      I too have raised concerns with Weststar about quality of programming and service, but like you say, it always falls on deaf ears. The problem is they know they have got everyone over a barrel, people have no choice but to use their service if they watch TV. Whilst Direct TV is an option for a few people, for the majority of people including the many in apartment complexes and rented accomodation, erecting a 8ft dish is not an option.

      Island 24 and Cayman 27 are both very low quality as well and picture/sound quality are poor. Tru TV is annoying now it;s in spanish and half the other stations cut out during the programs to display the idiot with the parrot talking about yesterday’s weather in Aruba.

      Weststar like other utility companies in Cayman (CUC, Water Authority, Lime, Digicel) all have a blatant disregard for their customers and know they can charge the earth despite offering terrible services, because the public have no choices but to use them.

      They need to get some kind of regulator in, or if there is one get them some balls to take action XXXXX.