AUGUSTA — City officials are concerned that the public will miss out on programming when Spectrum moves the public access television channel broadcasting Cony High School basketball games and meetings of the Augusta City Council, Board of Education and Planning Board up the dial, from channel 7 up to channel 1301.

The switch of CTV-7 and a handful of others is expected to take place Tuesday as part of a technology upgrade cable provider Spectrum, which earlier this year acquired Time Warner, is making to several of its service tiers.

Augusta officials say some viewers may not be able to find the locally produced programming after the move to a channel so far from its current spot in the lineup.

“CTV-7 is going to go black, and move up to 1301, and some concern has been expressed to me by subscribers that there’s going to be confusion in the community, with people not knowing that,” Mayor David Rollins said. “There is a perception we’re going to get inundated with complaints. Dec. 5 is the first Cony basketball game. So all of a sudden people are going to try to find Cony basketball, and it’s not on channel 7.”

Andrew Russell, northeast director of communications for Spectrum, said that the company is standardizing channel locations and grouping similar channels together.

“All the public access channels will be located in the 1300s on Spectrum channel lineups,” Russell said in an email. “This will be consistent statewide and nationally, and makes it easier for customers to find local programming no matter what town or state they are in if it’s in a Spectrum service area.”

City Manager William Bridgeo said it appears there is nothing the city can do about the channel change because the franchise agreement between the cable provider and city doesn’t address such changes.

“I feel powerless when it comes to cable television and our ability to regulate,” he told city councilors Thursday night. “We have minimal power. This is a huge national corporation. They’ve made a corporate decision. They’ve sort of just told us this is what it is. Didn’t give us much lead time at all.”

Rollins said he has talked to Andy Collar, director of operations of Digital Spirit Media, the company that oversees CTV-7 programming, who said a message and graphic will run on channel 7 informing viewers that CTV-7 moved to channel 1301.

However, starting Tuesday, there will be no channel 7 in the Spectrum lineup, and thus no channel to broadcast a message saying it has moved.

Leif Dahlin, community services director for the city, said notices will be posted on CTV-7 until Tuesday and a notice will also be put on the city’s website:

The company sent a letter to subscribers last month, noting the channel changes and warning that, also starting Tuesday, viewers will need to have digital equipment, from Spectrum, on each of their televisions to be able to view Spectrum programming. Company officials said 90 percent of customers already have some type of cable box and most won’t have to do anything to continue to view programming after Tuesday.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj