Shalom TV can be seen more than 16 million homes in major markets around the United States, but Rabbi Mark Golub of Stamford hopes to get his network into more areas, including Fairfield County.
Though large cable providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable carry this free, video-on-demand channel, Shalom TV has yet to picked up by Cablevision, which serves the county.
“We have a very vibrant community here – this is one of the few places that you can’t see it. I get e-mails about it every week,” said Golub about the 6-month-old television network. “It’s ironic, but we believe that Cablevision will launch it in the near future.”
Golub hopes that successes of the Russian Television Network, which he established in 1991, will be mirrored with Shalom TV.He said he believes that the channel already has marked a milestone.
“There was never a network (for Jewish culture). You either purchased airtime or used public access,” said Golub, who has been involved in Jewish radio and television since the 1970s.
He serves the congregations of Chavurah Aytz Chayim (Fellowship for Jewish Life) in Stamford and Chavurah Deevray Torah (Congregation for Torah Study) in Greenwich.
Jim Cameron, a Darien member of Area 9 Cable Council, declined to comment on why Shalom TV, funded by private individuals, is not shown locally. He said the council does not make decisions on which channels will appear on Cablevision.
“We never take sides. Let the marketplace and capitalism do their thing,” Cameron said.
The provider has to see that there’s a demand for the channel but Cameron suggested that there may be other “technical” reasons as to why Shalom TV is not being carried by Cablevision.
“People should contact Cablevision and tell them, ‘I want my Shalom TV.’ They react to marketplace forces – but to add a channel, you have to drop a channel. You also don’t have to be tethered to one provider anymore,” Cameron said.
A spokesman for Cablevision said, “Cablevision does not comment on programming negotiations or discussions.”
But Shalom TV, which operates out of Fort Lee, N.J., continues to be picked up by other smaller cable providers such as Bright House and Metro Cast.
Metro Cast has presence in the New London and Groton area, as well as New Hampshire, Golub said.