Here's a basic snippet of how vicious this whole thing has become.
It appears to be all-too representative of Suddenlink's lack of customer regard that it would think that a Temple, Texas station reporting on news in Temple and Waco will be regarded by the folks in Georgetown and other communities it serves in the Austin market as an adequate substitute for one of the strongest Austin news stations. It is also a far more expensive and wasteful proposition for Suddenlink than the modest license fees sought by KXAN.There's a few things wrong with this statement.
1) That customers rely on one local station for news. I haven't watched local news since we lost Time Warner and News 8 Austin last year. I haven't watched ABC, CBS or NBC local news for 10 years. I listen to NPR and read News8Austin.com. What I get from my local stations are national broadcasts. I watch NBC for Heroes, My Name is Earl, The Office and the occasional Law & Order. Can KCEN bring me that? You bet.
2) Lack of customer regard. I'm only going by what I've read in emails, comments and site postings, but from what I can tell, Suddenlink was worried about losing its customers, KXAN was worried about losing its media coverage. If KXAN was worried about its customers, it would have told LIN TV to suck it up and take a hit and allow Suddenlink to carry the channel until a negotiation was reached. Now, as if spurned by a lover, KXAN writes this to try and make Suddenlink subscribers feel guilty about continuing to receive cable.
3) Time Warner doesn't serve this area. I may not work in television, but I know there's no overlap in cable coverage, least of all in Pflugerville. In fact the only place there MIGHT be an overlap is with Grande Communications somewhere on the east side of 35 around Manor.
4) I can't speak to the expense, but my guess is that's a load of crap. If it's more expensive to run through Temple than get a license from LIN, why was that not done? If all KXAN wanted was the cash, and Suddenlink HAD the cash, I don't think there would be an issue. It doesn't make sense. And as to wasteful? I'm going to watch my NBC HD tonight, thank you KCEN. I didn't have that before.
And with that, I'm officially done with this issue. I'll let the big boys play or comment further. I still miss my Time Warner because of the OnDemand movies and News8Austin but honestly, I don't plan on moving of Suddenlink any time soon, and if I did it'd be because I just watch too much TV or we stop being able to afford it.