updated 12:23 pm EDT, Fri August 23, 2013
Free antennas for customers in four affected markets
Time Warner Cable is attempting to help customers affected by the CBS blackout by issuing free antennas. TWC is offering a free basic antenna to a limited number of subscribers in four markets, or the alternate option of $20 in Best Buy credit towards an antenna of their choice, allowing its customers access to view dark channels through over-the-air broadcasts.
A support page spotted by The Verge notes that the free antennas will be available at TWC retail cable stores in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Los Angeles/Desert Cities, New York, and Milwaukee and Green Bay in Wisconsin, though these will have a limited range and may not be suitable for those further away from a CBS transmitter. The same support page also lists the Best Buy locations where TWC customers can claim their credit and buy an antenna from.
The latest development of the licensing debate between the two companies saw CBS calling the latest blackout "injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself," claiming TWC negotiated in a "combative and non-productive spirit." CBS continues to want "fair compensation" for its network content, but TWC claims that it has "offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS's demands are out of line and unfair," stating that the proposed fees by CBS are more than what other providers are being charged. TWC has also suggested the use of Aereo by customers in available markets as a temporary alternative venue for CBS programming.
TWC is said to pay between 75 cents and $1 per subscriber for CBS content, with CBS seeking $2 instead.