NBC Stations Will Ditch Time Warner Cable Unless They See Some Cash

Cable companies compensate most of the channels they offer, sharing a portion of the money they get from subscribers with the individual stations– but apparently Time Warner Cable doesn’t share the wealth with broadcast networks — and Austin, TX NBC affiliate KXAN is having none of it. They want some money!

KXAN’s website has a lobbying section that compares TWC broadcasting their network for free to someone bottling water from a drinking fountain and selling it.

KXAN says:

Here is a basic analogy: If you were to get a drink of water at a public drinking fountain, it is free, but once the water is placed in a package, it is no longer free. The same holds true for local television programming delivered through a subscription-based provider.

Time Warner Cable pays cable networks, such as ESPN, TNT, Disney, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and the list goes on and on. Cable companies often say that local broadcasters have “unreasonable demands” and they are trying to “protect their subscribers from increasing their rates”. If that were true, why are they paying cable networks that have far less viewership than KXAN-TV?

We do not believe that a penny a per day per subscriber is an unreasonable demand for our award-winning news, sports and entertainment programming. It is actually much less than what cable companies compensate many of its cable networks, most of which do not have the high viewing of your local NBC station.

The station also says that they’ve reached agreements with every other provider — including DISH network, DirecTV, and AT&T.

Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, claims that KXAN is damaging its reputation as a news outlet by “conveying one sided, misleading information to the public.” And has set up its own “Anti-KXAN” website.

Time Warner Says:

KXAN is demanding money from our customers to pay for a signal that has been and is free. That’s right. They get it free from the Federal Government, but they want you to pay. We don’t want that to happen just so KXAN can add to their revenue base.

KXAN is trying to subsidize their business by charging cable customers money. By doing so, they not only add to their revenue base, but take advantage of their viewers by charging for a signal that is FREE.

This may sound familiar to some of you, as the same struggle is going on all over the country, where other stations owned by KXAN’s parent company, LIN TV, will also be dropped from TWC on October 2nd if a deal isn’t reached.

There are 15 LIN TV-owned stations carried by Time Warner: Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Green Bay, Wis.; Indianapolis; Mobile, Ala.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind. and Toledo, Ohio.

So what’s a consumer to do? Well, you can wait it out and hope that the stations reach a deal with TWC, buy a good antenna, or you can make plans to switch. LIN-TV is encouraging TWC’s customers to switch to DISH Network — and also told Multichannel News that customers in the Buffalo area and the Fort Wayne market can switch to FiOS.

If you’re in Austin, Buffalo, Columbus, Dayton, Fort Wayne, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Mobile, Terre Haute and Toledo markets you can receive a $50 incentive to switch to DISH.

Retrans Standoff Could Keep LIN TV Stations Off TWC Systems [Multichannel News] (Thanks, Clint!)