Time Warner Cable hands out 21,000 antennas to Texas subscribers impacted by blackout of NBC affiliate

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Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) says it has handed out more 21,000 TV antennas to subscribers on its Corpus, Christi, Texas, system who have not been able to access the feed for NBC affiliate KRIS-TV and three other stations as a result of a retransmission-consent dispute with Cordillera Communications.

The cable system saw the biggest demand for the over-the-air antennas in the weeks leading up to NBC's broadcast of Super Bowl 46. But fewer subscribers are requesting the antennas in order to watch Today, Fear Factor and other NBC programs.

Since Cordillera is no longer able to use its own TV stations to communicate with Time Warner Cable subscribers, the company has been running news stories and ads on Corpus Christi CBS affiliate KZTV, which is owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting. Cordillera's KRIS has a shared services agreement with KZTV which allow the stations to run the same local news stories. Many local TV stations have formed shared services agreements as a way to combat decreased TV ratings and ad revenue, and slash newsroom budgets. 

With Cordillera losing negotiating leverage with Time Warner Cable following its Super Bowl broadcast, the company is hoping a complaint it has filed at the FCC could force the MSO to negotiate a retransmission-consent deal. In response to Cordillera's complaint, Time Warner Cable said in an FCC filing that it is unfair for Cordillera to use its shared services agreement with SagamoreHill to bash the cable company. That's a claim Cordillera dismissed in a rebuttal, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

"There is nothing anticompetitive or inappropriate about KRIS-TV and KZTV (TV) reporting the news or providing viewers with useful information about alternative video providers," Cordillera told the FCC.

For more:
- the Caller-Times has this story

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