Television shows dropped as copyright law looms

Television station Cayman 27 has announced significant, immediate changes to its prime time programming in an effort to comply with new copyright and intellectual property laws expected this year. 

Randy Merren, CEO of Hurley’s Media, which bought the channel from Logic last year, said the company would have its “house in order” by the time the new legislation is introduced. 

The current prime time schedule for the channel includes programming from U.S. network CBS, including hit shows “Blue Bloods” and “The Good Wife.” 

Mr. Merren said Hurley’s Media inherited a broadcast arrangement with CBS from the previous owners, but that does not cover prime time shows between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. In any case, that agreement expired on Dec. 31. 

New copyright legislation, mirroring the U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988, is expected to be introduced this year. 

“With the new legislation, the company must make changes to ensure that all of its content is properly licensed,” Mr. Merren said. 

“We knew the copyright law was coming, and we will have our house in order by the time it becomes law. We know our audience will be surprised with the major changes in our prime time lineup, but we want viewers to understand the reason.” 

He said there would have to be “sweeping changes” to Island 24 and Cayman 27’s entertainment programming because much of what it currently airs is licensed by other cable channels for the region. 

The stations will now offer shows they can get licensing agreements for. Mr. Merren said these would include “family friendly television classics” during the daytime, including “I Love Lucy,” “Bonanza,” and “Cheers,” among others. 

Newer offerings, including “Madame Secretary,” “CSI Miami” and “Late Night with Steven Colbert,” will be available in the evening hours. 

He said the local programming would be expanded with new talk shows, a live midday news report and the extension of the evening newscast to 90 minutes. 

He added, “Cayman 27 has always been an important part of the entertainment landscape of our island. We will continue to expand our local news offerings and look to broaden our entertainment programing as opportunities arise.” 

‘Madam Secretary,’ starring Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, is among the new CBS programs that will be aired by Hurley’s Media local stations. – Photo: The Washington Post

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