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CBS-Time Warner Cable Skirmish Drives Some Viewers to Off-Air Reception

I've been following the battle between CBS and Time Warner Cable over retransmission consent—not for the business aspects, as interesting as those are—but rather to see how Time Warner Cable's subscribers are reacting to the idea of using their own antennas to receive TV programming.

I was surprised to find most comments blasted CBS or Time Warner Cable, or both, but it appeared that only a few of the commenters had actually tried using antennas for reception. The article with the most positive comments on antennas was the NPR/SCPR piece Time Warner Offers Customers Free Antennas to Watch CBS.

When I last checked there were 44 comments.

It’s possible that many commenters didn't care due to the fact that they don't watch TV, except maybe streaming a movie or program via the Internet. One commenter tried an antenna and said he got 94 digital channels, but CBS stations KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV were not among them, adding “that's a funny coincidence, eh?” Several said they don't have cable and rely on broadcast TV (for free), with some using Netflix or other on-line video.

Although the Reuters article, Time Warner Cable offers antennas during CBS blackout, generated more negative comments about off-air reception, a few were willing to try it. One commenter noted that “These antennas don't work!!!” and said Time Warner needs to pull its ad. Another commenter said they went to pick up their antenna, but were told it probably wouldn't work because they weren't close enough to the tower. Another said they tried the $60+ ones and still couldn't get a good signal.

If you're a Time Warner Cable customer and are trying an off-air antenna for the first time, I'd be interested in knowing how it worked out; please email me at