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Spectrum isn't always the villain; 'Jeopardy!' winner has another skill

Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

I understand why Spectrum subscribers are upset with the cable company over its announced rate increases.

But I don’t get why subscribers were upset with Spectrum over the retransmission battle it had with Tegna, the owner of WGRZ-TV, until a deal was reached Saturday.

In this case, Spectrum wasn’t the bad guy. It was on its subscribers’ side. Spectrum wanted to keep to a minimum the cost of paying Tegna to carry stations so it wouldn’t feel the need to raise the monthly fee it charges to carry broadcast stations.

In that sense, Spectrum was in the same position as the satellite providers, Fios or any competing cable company would be in.

In the latest rating increase, Spectrum is adding an extra $1.51 cents per month to carry the broadcast channels to make the monthly cost $13.50.

That’s $162 a year per subscriber to get broadcast channels that in most cases are available for free with a decent antenna.

In case you were wondering ... “Jeopardy!" contestant Jason Zuffranieri went directly from his elimination after winning $532,496 to participate in a World Sudoku competition in Germany. He has entered the competition frequently, finishing as high as 10th.

Jason Zuffranieri. (Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc.)

He also supplied a Sudoku tidbit that briefly puzzled me. Thomas Snyder, the 1998 valedictorian at Amherst Central, is a three-time World Sudoku champion. He also holds degrees from Harvard and Cal Tech and has done post-degree work at Stanford. I was surprised I never knew that.

The three-minute feature on “The NFL Today” a week ago about the halftime wedding of Mackenzie Park and Jordan Binggeli at New Era Field was as cute as expected.

Binggeli gets points for earlier engagement creativity, tossing a football to Park with the words: “You intercepted my heart, let’s tackle the world together. Will you marry me?”

By my unofficial count, Park got two or three times as many spoken words in the piece, with the most memorable: “Jordan and the Bills. That is what is my life.”

After the feature ended, Boomer Esiason said: “Imagine if they win today what that reception is going to be like.” (New England beat the Bills, 16-10.)

CBS segued from the wedding feature into a segment called “Stay or Split,” which predicted on how quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, Cam Newton and Mitchell Trubisky are getting along with their coaches.

I didn’t laugh much during the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” but I found the parody of the new “Downton Abbey” theatrical movie one of the night’s highlights even if it came near the end of the show.

The joke in the filmed skit was nothing really happens in the movie, as critics across the country noted in the fake reviews in the skit. At least, I thought they were fake. But I went to the movie and the reviews actually seemed pretty accurate.

It was sweet and picturesque, but nothing much really happened.

One common theme from critics is if you loved the series you will love the movie.

I’m a commoner who loved the series, but I fell asleep during the movie.

If you missed Ken Burns’ series “Country Music,” he aware that WNED-TV is repeating episodes from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sundays through Nov. 10. The first episode ran last Sunday.

I loved the series and thought it got more interesting as each episode played. My favorite interview subject was Marty Stuart. My favorite stories included those about the careers of Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and, at times, an unrecognizable, clean-cut Willie Nelson.


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