If you live in one of the larger TV markets, you know that there are channels that aren’t part of any network. We’ve called them “Independent” stations, and when there were only three broadcast networks they were a common sight. With the number of national programming services growing, they become less sparse. It’s not just NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox anymore; the TV landscape is full of services like ION, CW, Univision, MyNetworkTV, MeTV, Buzzr!, and others that provide an identity to smaller local stations.
When a national programming service is available, it brings with it a logo and that logo is usually passed on to companies like DIRECTV so that your guide can show it. There are a few actual independent television stations left (like Los Angeles’ KCAL) whose logos don’t show up in the guide. When there’s no logo, DIRECTV shows the station call letters, sometimes cut off, in a fairly ugly display. Why don’t you get those logos as well?
It just comes down to time and effort. It actually takes special programming to add a channel logo. The logo is formatted very precisely so that it fits in DIRECTV’s very specific area and then it’s loaded as part of the software. While that doesn’t seem like it would take a lot of work, that amount of work can add up when you’re talking about thousands of stations across the country.
The channel logos tend to flow in fairly automatically with networks, so all a network has to do is provide it to DIRECTV once and it gets used for every local affiliate.