TWC Offers Customers Free Antennas During Retrans Battle

Time Warner Cable (TWC) will offer free antennas starting Friday, allowing customers to receive blacked-out CBS stations over the air. Customers will be able to collect them at local TWC offices.

Word came via advertising Thursday, where TWC also told customers it would be offering a free Amazon gift card or movie on-demand coupon.

Customers will have to install the antennas themselves and have a compatible TV.

TWC has reportedly offered customers in Milwaukee the same free-antenna opportunity, although possibly only to its customers calling to complain about the unavailability of the local NBC station. The reason for the Wisconsin darkness is stalled negotiations with Journal Communications over retransmission payments.

An impasse between TWC and CBS is affecting the CBS outlets in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets.

Is TWC making a long-term mistake, as it may win over some customers now? Customers hooking up the antennas will get all the broadcast stations and may realize they can live without TWC’s TV service. Of course, cord-cutting at any significant level would be a problem for CBS, too, since it would lose retrans consent payments from TWC.
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