Saturday, August 09, 2014

LUS Fiber adds children's French channel

KATC reports that LUS Fiber has added a new french language channel aimed at young children, TiVi5MONDE Kids—at channel 105 in the "Digital Plus" tier.
The inclusion of a children's channel in French is an acknowledgment of the francophone region's Cajun and Creole heritage. Terry Huval, himself a noted Cajun fiddle player, notes in the press release:
"It's important to encourage youth to embrace our French heritage...This is why LUS Fiber sought out to be one of the first cable companies to host this channel."
Beyond just the nod to the region's french heritage in a community where about 13% of the population tell census takers that they speak French in the home, the new channel will also have a special relationship with the parish's public school system. Lafayette has two French immersion schools in its "Schools of Choice" program—at Evangeline and Myrtle Place Elementary—where instruction is primarily in French.
LUS Fiber officials say that, along with the family-friendly programming, TiVi5MONDE Kids will offer free lesson plans to teachers. Included within the agreement struck by LUS Fiber, TiVi5MONDE Kids will train local teachers how to incorporate the network and free online tools into their classroom education plans...
However, programming will not solely be targeted to French Immersion students, but teachers and parents as well, LUS Fiber explains in a release. The release says that channel will act as an exciting tool to compliment traditional foreign language education covering the basic linguistic skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening. 
French programming has also been a issue in the ongoing competition between Cox and LUS Fiber both before LUS Fiber launched and after. While LUS Fiber was still building Cox got called in on the carpet by the Council to "explain" yanking the weather channel and French programming from the basic tier during the period when Lafayette was merged into the greater Louisiana. Later it attempted to make an advertising pitch about its having TV5—without noting that it was packaged into the high-priced tier while LUS Fiber kept in on the basis channel setup.

Which brings up a discomfiting point: LUS no longer carries TV5 on the inexpensive, no frills, no box lineup...now it too has moved TV5 to the higher, box-required tier. Even more: TiVi5 Monde Kids is on an upper, yet more expensive tier. That's not good for the young families the channel would most benefit. That's part of a drift towards doing everything as if LUS were a standard cable company. It's a disappointment. Sure Cox has, in the interim treated the natives even worse, having moved TV5 to its most expensive "regular" channel tier with a buncha sports channels Tante Sue is not likely to care about. Still if there is any place where we should be able to buck the pattern and act in favor of community, ethnicity, and history it should be here. It's worrisome that it's not. LUS seems to have lost track of the idea that it needs to differentiate itself from "business as usual" coporatism.

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