Update: TWC to Keep CBS Affiliate in S.C. Beach Community
August 26, 2009
Time Warner Cable has angered some viewers in the Myrtle Beach/Florence market (DMA 104) by dropping both an NBC (WMBF-TV) — and most recently a CBS affiliate (WBTW-TV) — from some local beach area systems as a way (according to TWC) of eliminating duplicate network programming and to grow the cabler's list of HD content. In one instance, growing TWC's HD content seemed to consist mostly of replacing WBTW with the Home Shopping Network.
Earlier news reports out of Myrtle Beach cited several communities as losing the CBS station. But now comes word that Surfside Beach residents will not lose WBTW after all. That confirmation came a few days ago at a county council meeting. However, TWC viewers in Georgetown, Pawleys Island and northern Georgetown County, S.C., will still lose the CBS affiliate, according to the Sun News of Myrtle Beach.
WBTW's owner, Media General, has filed at least two complaints with the FCC over TWC's recent actions — including the cabler's axing of another Media General-owned CBS affiliate: WNCT-TV in Greenville, N.C.
Media General, which owns the Florence CBS affiliate, has filed a complaint about the changes with the FCC. Time-Warner says the move was part of an effort to avoid duplicate channels and replace them with high-definition offerings.
But the station group doesn't seem to be protesting the legality of TWC's actions for the long-term. Instead, its complaints mainly question whether the cable firm properly gave Media General (and viewers) the requisite 30 days' notice before dropping the stations.