Update (Aug 4, 2013): CBS has released a new official statement regarding negotiations with TWC
There are no negotiations taking place at this time between CBS and Time Warner Cable. Before the
deadline on Friday we asked TWC to continue the negotiation while our programming was still on the air
in consideration for our viewers. They rejected this request and told us that they’d have more leverage
against us if they took us off their service. This is hardly a sign that they care about their customers as
they claim. We remain ready to negotiate in good faith when they are.
As many Time Warner Cable customers already know, especially those who watch Big Brother and for the past few episodes, have seen the scroll at the bottom that you might lose your CBS channel, TWC and CBS are currently in the struggle of re-negotiation of their fees. Specifically, CBS is asking for a new contract with higher re-transmission fees for Time Warner Cable to broadcast their content.
Why a “Flashback Friday”? Because how many times have we seen this happen? Eventually it does resolve itself, the loser ALWAYS the TV Subscriber no matter which side gets their way really. Higher fees always means higher fees for YOU, not for the cable company. No negotiation means we lose our channels and somehow, still get a higher cable bill? (That one I haven’t quite figured out yet.)
Now, I’m not going to take sides between CBS/Time Warner Cable. Really, you can insert anyone in that equation. FOX/Comcast. Viacom/Dish. You get the picture. It’s constant and the only losers are us. We lose in price or we lose our favorite channel. It sucks quite frankly.
Now I used to, in another life, work for the cable company. Yes, I took your calls that the broadcaster told you to make to “tell us to keep” their channel, or of course the calls the Cable Company told you to make to “Not give in to their demands!” I remember specifically the fight between Fox and Time Warner Cable. We had to be staffed on New Years Eve of all things to take those calls. Why? Because the contract was going to run out at midnight. You have NO IDEA how much fun it is to answer the phone right before Midnight on New Years Eve to someone yelling at you (as if you are in on the negotiations) to keep their Fox on the air. Really, it’s kind of a joke. Do these callers really think we have any say? Do they not understand that whatever the cable company bends to on price just gets passed on to the consumer? Sigh.
It’s okay to make the call and let them know you prefer to keep/discard the network, but PLEASE realize the person you are talking to has no control over it and be human… And please, please, please find something else to do on New Years Eve.
But I digress… back to the reason I am writing this.
Another thing those callers don’t realize… In all the uproar over CBS maybe pulling their channel, or Fox, or NBC, or ABC etc. etc. Those channels are FREE OVER THE AIR CHANNELS. Yes, you do NOT need Cable, Dish, DirecTv, FIOS, etc. to see these. You just need a trusty antenna that you can purchase, or better yet, make your own for REALLY cheap! You may also need a converter box ONLY if your TV is older. And by older, I mean grandma’s TV… Ok, maybe mom’s TV or that weird retro Uncle you have that lives in a friends basement. Basically, if you have a digital ready Television, you can get those channels free. If you purchased your Television after 2004, more than likely it’s digital ready. If you purchased your TV after 2007, then it HAS to be digital ready by law, so no box needed.
Anyway, I thought I would pass this info on about the ALMOST FREE antenna that you can make yourself. You know, DIY. Even if you have cable, satellite, fios or what not, it’s actually kind of a nice thing to have anyway. There are SO MANY over the air digital channels that you aren’t getting with these companies, and why shouldn’t you? They’re FREE. If you have a Tivo, you can even record from them. Many are in a really crisp HD too. So whether you are a cord cutter or a full fledged subscriber, why not give this a shot? Did I say free? (Well, almost free anyway. At least it’s without the monthly cost.)
Now some say that this DIY antenna is actually better than some of the more costly purchased ones. I will leave that up to you. Also note, I can’t take credit for this… this is someone else’s love child, I’m just sharing the wealth. This one was adopted from someone else (who she credits) by Holly Mann (and made pretty with paint to make it wall hang-able, if that’s such a word) and is reported to work really well. To view the instructions on how to make this, go HERE.
While you’re at it, you can also check out what channels should come in for you OTA (Over the Air) by your Zip Code HERE. (Keep in mind that many of these channels have more than one channel included. Meaning you may see one channel as “4-1” but there may also be a “4-2” and “4-3”. The last time I checked in my area there were at least 8 different PBS channels each broadcasting something different.
So good luck! If you decide to make one of these nifty things (which I will do soon too and will update with how it goes) let us know below in the comments how it turned out! Did it work? Did it fizzle out? Did you do something different that made it better? Keep us updated!
Oh and, of course, join us in the FORUM one of these days. You will be glad you did!