Time Warner Cable Handing Out Free TV Antennas, as CBS Blackout Stretches On

Time Warner Cable Blackout

Cable company also offers affected subscribers $20 credit toward rabbit ears sold at Best Buy stores

Time Warner Cable is donning rabbit ears.

With the CBS blackout in key markets heading into a fourth week, the cable company is giving away free TV antennas to customers so they can watch the Eye.

The cable operator said Friday that it has a “limited quantity of basic indoor antennas” which customers may pick up for free at TW Cable retail locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, where CBS is currently blacked out. It’s also offering free antennas in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisc., where the MSO is engaged in a retrans dispute with Journal Broadcasting Group.

In addition, Time Warner Cable said it struck a partnership with Best Buy in those cities to provide customers a $20 credit toward the purchase of any in-stock broadcast antenna at select store locations.

SEE ALSO: CBS Consumer-Perception Score Goes Negative as Time Warner Cable Blackout Drags On

“We regret that CBS has put our customers in this position by continuing to withhold its channels,” Time Warner Cable said in an email message to customers Friday about the antenna offer. “We are trying to strike a balance between our desire to restore the channels as soon as possible and our responsibility to all of our customers to hold down the rising cost of TV.”

Time Warner Cable is limiting customers to one antenna each, while inventory lasts. Info on Time Warner Cable’s antenna program and Best Buy offer is available at twcconversations.com/antenna.

Other cable companies have given away antennas during past retrans outages. But the move is rich with irony, given that cable TV’s original reason for existence was to deliver television signals to households that couldn’t receive them.

Since Aug. 2, more than 3 million Time Warner Cable customers in New York, L.A. and Dallas have been without CBS, when contract talks broke down between the companies. MSO also pulled Showtime and three other CBS-owned cablers, while CBS immediately retaliated by blocking Time Warner Cable’s broadband customers from accessing full-length eps online and via mobile apps.

SEE ALSO: Should the U.S. Government Ban TV Blackouts?

During the CBS blackout, the MSO also is offering the Starz Kids & Family premium channel on a temporary preview basis to subs and also is making the Tennis Channel available at no additional charge during the two weeks of the U.S. Open tennis tourney beginning Aug. 26. Time Warner Cable is offering a credit to Showtime subs retroactive to Aug. 2 but is not providing any rebate for the loss of CBS programming.

CBS is asking for a steep hike in retransmission fees, seeking upwards of $2 per subscriber per month from Time Warner Cable (versus 75 cents to $1 currently), according to analyst estimates.

The dispute also involves digital-streaming rights: Time Warner Cable wants to offer current and past-season CBS shows online — but the Eye claims the MSO is refusing to pay extra for those rights. CBS, like other programmers, sees healthy revenue upside through subscription VOD deals with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.com.

On Thursday, the Eye announced three-year pact with Verizon Communications to continue retransmission of CBS on FiOS TV. According to CBS topper Les Moonves, the deal the telco agreed to is virtually identical to the one CBS has offered Time Warner Cable.

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  1. Jan says:

    So long TW! I just got off the phone with Dish Network. I will be watching CBS on my free ipod and recording on my free Hopper in less than 24 hours! I will be watching all my NFL favorites this Sunday!
    You suck Time Warner!

  2. sammiw weddle says:

    TIME WARNER IS A MONOLPOLY. This is unacepptable. One thing about it. When subscribers move they will never be back. What a poor example of customer service. Pre Season C owboys are not important to you right now……but they will be.

  3. Greed. I have no option to pick up another provider. There is none where I live. You people should working together to provide service. Not throwing jabs at each other. Too busy summer rich vacations. When I can get another provider I am gone time warner. Right now I will get an IPad and SHOWTIME streamed in. Two programs. I watch I have missed. Netflix

  4. PAT PRIBBLE says:

    I WOULD LIKE TIME WARNER TO QUITE TRYING TO PLAY HARD BALL AND GET OFF THE POT, DON’T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT YOUR BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PUT CBS BACK ON OR YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS CHANGING SERVICES, ME AMONG THEM. I AM SURE PEOPLE WILL NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT A LITTLE INCREASE, YOU FIND OTHER REASONS TO INCREASE OUR BILL ONCE A YEAR AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT UNTIL WE GET A LETTER WITH A EXPLANATION THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. IF CERTAIN AREAS DON’T GET CBS IT IS NOT FAIR THAT OTHERS DO, TAKE EVERYONE OFF THAT IS ONLY FAIR. PAT PRIBBLE

  5. burt. ward says:

    When ATSC tv first hit our area, a local tv station did a story on how you can make your own antenna. It was fairly simple to do. You would take a piece of patch cord that comes with most VCR’s or DVD players. You know, the one with the type F connectors. You get a wire cutter. Snip of one of the ends. Now trim trim back the coax 1 foot to reveal the inside foam or plastic covered copper wire. Now attach that to the wall behind your tv and plug the end to the antenna connector on the tv set or ATSC box. You have made a simple dipole antenna.

  6. Larry Lorden says:

    Verizon settled, why not twc? it’s been three weeks and I still pay the same bill with less coverage. Now you want me, as a consumer, to pay money for an antenna so I can get the channels I should be getting for my money. I don’t know how many have jumped ship but I am thinking of getting in line.

  7. I don’t have a contract with CBS, my contract is with Time Warner and that is where I direct my anger. CBS offered to extend their contract for a limited time to continue negotiations. But Time Warner demand a one year extension and when CBS refused Time Warner pulled the plug, not CBS.

  8. What about the 125.00 I spent on rabbie ears and a conveter box. Are they going to pay me back?

  9. jamesjimcie says:

    Every Time Warner Cable customer should be ashamed of CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves for this blackout that result in the viewers from being able to watch their favorite shows with Time Warner Cable.

    This is an excuse for CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves wanting to try to be way too big being the Wal-Mart’s, the Marlboro’s, the Joe Camel’s, the Paramount Pictures with the movie theater chain of the 1940’s, the Morris Levy’s when he was part of Roulette Records, the Clive Davis’s when he was at Columbia Records in the 1970′s, the Neil Bogart’s of Casablanca Records fame of the 1970′s disco era, the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s, the David Smith (one of the Smith brothers from Sinclair Broadcast Group), the Perry Sock and the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the Harry Pappas as part of the Pappas Telecasting Companies, the Bernard Madoff’s, the Enron’s, the Worldcom’s, the Adelphia’s, the Tyco’s, the Martha Stewart’s, the Jill Kelley’s, the Orie sister’s, the Teresa and Joe Giudice’s, and the Jesse Jackson Jr’s, of the 2000′s by letting broadcast greed get out of control so all of the head employees and bosses including Leslie Moonves at CBS to be able to enjoy carefree lavishly spending to support carefree lavishly lifestyles with luxurious homes, luxurious jets, luxurious cars, luxurious furs, luxurious jewelry, join luxurious clubs, go on to luxurious vacations, go to luxurious hotels, go to luxurious casinos to do gambling, go to horse races, throw luxurious parties, and have other luxurious items just to make them very happy then trying and willingness to improve the quality of all the stations they owned and control and making the viewers happy as well. I hope and I wish that CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves get scolded by both by the ACA and the FCC for making the viewers being forced to deal with this blackout because they could not make a deal to get the stations back to it’s customers sooner and with a fair deal with Time Warner Cable. I hope and I wish that CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves is barred from continuance of ownership of it’s owned and operated stations and buying and owning anymore TV stations in the future after their final decision to remove the stations from Time Warner Cable. I feel that CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves are trying to bribe like the General Tire/RKO General of the 1960′s and 1970′s by not being very honest of not only the viewers by making them miss the shows on Time Warner Cable and also on themselves with the force of demanding Time Warner Cable to pay up in the retransmission consent to continue to carry the stations.

    I hope and I wish that the FCC would force CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves to allow Time Warner Cable to carry it’s stations without any interference, in the event CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves fails to allow Time Warner Cable to carry it’s stations again, then the FCC would force CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves to allow Time Warner Cable to import out of market stations that are very real close to the station being blacked out being affiliated with the same network, in the event CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves fails to allow Time Warner Cable to import out of market stations that are very real close to the station being blacked out being affiliated with the same network, then the FCC would allow Time Warner Cable to carry the out of market station with the same affiliation without any restrictions and also be allowed to continue to carry the out of market station that it’s digital television signal is reachable by a outdoor antenna including both it’s SD and HD feeds on the Time Warner Cable service system even after the dispute is over without any interference for 12 whole years to meet FCC rules and regulators.

    This is an excuse for CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves wanting to be too big being way too busy trying to act like the Baauer’s, the PSY’s, the Carly Rae Jepsen’s, the Tay Allyn’s, the Nicole Westbrook’s, the Rebecca Black’s, the Double Take’s, and the Guns N Roses Axl Rose as well as trying to be the Conrad Murray’s, the Pete Rose’s and the Alex Rodriguez’s as the cheaters, the Jerry Sandusky’s as the assaulters, the Jodi Arias’s, the Casey Anthony’s, the Charles Starkweather’s, the Charles Manson’s, the Lyle and Erik Menendez’s, the O. J. Simpson’s, the Scott Peterson’s, and the Drew Peterson’s as the greedy murderers, the Alfonzo Dennard’s, the Jeremy Dobbe’s, the Jeffrey Ireland’s, the Amanda Bynes’s and the Lindsay Lohan’s as the drunk and the drug abusers, the Rodney Dangerfield’s, the John Belushi’s, and the Chris Farley’s as the comedians, (all real life people) the Gordon Gekko’s, the Victoria Grayson’s, the Victor Newman’s/the Jack Abbott’s, the J. R. Ewing’s/the Cliff Barnes’s, the Charles Montgomery Burn’s/ the Mayor Quimby’s, the Homer and Bart Simpson’s, the Peter Griffin’s, the Mickey Mouse’s/the Minnie Mouse’s, the Bugs Bunny’s/the Daffy Duck’s/the Porky Pig’s, the Garfield cat’s, the Cookie Monster’s, the Miss Piggy’s, and the Pillsbury Doughboy’s, (all fictional characters) of the broadcasting industry of not coming to reach a deal with Time Warner Cable to carry it’s stations to the viewers with Time Warner Cable everyday.

    This is an excuse for CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves trying to turn into the 1919 Chicago White Sox’s baseball team and the Southern Methodist University football team of the 1980′s to force Time Warner Cable to accept a take it or leave it deal to carry it’s stations. I urge all of the viewers with Time Warner Cable to boycott CBS and all of their head executives including Leslie Moonves right now for making the Time Warner Cable viewers suffer from being able to watch their favorite shows in a big huge ugly game of baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw chicken.

    I also encourage all Time Warner Cable customers to boycott all the big head executives at Time Warner Cable including Glenn Britt and Robert Marcus and video executive Melinda Witmer.

    I got the best idea to stop the Time Warner Cable-CBS dispute feud is to have Texas judge William Adams to come over to Time Warner Cable to scold both Glenn Britt and Robert Marcus and video executive Melinda Witmer and all of their big head colleagues over at Time Warner Cable headquarters in New York City, New York and CBS to scold all of their big head executives including Leslie Moonves over at it’s headquarters in New York City, New York by getting belted and whipped 369 straight times as well as forcing them all to take an adult version of the time out and sit on the adult time out chair for 369 straight hours and have David and Julie Ireland spying from their home computer at their residence to monitor what going on with the retransmission consent dispute between Glenn Britt and Robert Marcus and video executive Melinda Witmer with Time Warner Cable and CBS with Leslie Moonves with their big head executives as the official real true punishment for their failure to treat it’s TV viewers very fairly in carrying the stations to it’s TV viewers by not letting them watch their favorite shows and sports.

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