San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Where Do the U.S. Network Channels go Each Month?

I have a question regarding AMNET cable service. It appears that at the start of each month, ABC, CBS and NBC, the three major U.S. broadcast networks (channels 69, 70 and 71 in the San José metro area; varies by location around the country), go off the air. Outages began on Sept. 2 and continued through Sept. 3. I have been unable to get a response from AMNET, and was wondering if you can.

David Banks


The situation you describe does happen occasionally – we have noticed it too – but not every month, according to Jorge Córdoba, AMNET’s chief of customer service.

The satellite by which these three channels (the U.S. network affiliates from Denver, Colorado) are beamed to Costa Rica periodically changes the coding of its signal, and rarely with advance notice, Córdoba explained. When this happens, AMNET must reprogram its system to be able to match and send out the satellite signal it receives.

If this occurs on a weekday, when AMNET offices are fully staffed, it’s no problem to notice the situation and make the adjustments quickly. Córdoba speculated that since September began on a weekend, when fewer people were in the office to monitor the situation, it didn’t get corrected until Monday, Sept. 3.

We’ll add our own bit of speculation too: these are three channels likely little watched in the typical Spanish-speaking Costa Rican household. When they disappear from the screen, the number of people who notice is far smaller than, say, if local Channel 7 would go off the air. Report the situation, Córdoba said, no matter what the day of the week. AMNET’s technical support number is 210-2920.


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