Originally Posted by Arcade
Below is the responce I received:
(We are talking with these networks through our corporate programming department. Locally, we're talking with KBMT and tomorrow I have lunch with Larry at KFDM to discuss their HD signal. I'll let you know if there is anything to report. Thanks for the email.
I got a response back to mine as well. I also asked about the analog channels being duplicated in a higher "digital" range with the recent lineup change. Here is the response:
During the digital realignment into genres or themes, the channels on the basic lineup were not duplicated in the higher channel ranges, only the expanded basic and digital channels. The expanded basic channels are still carried in analog not digital. In the near future we will begin moving more of our analog channels to digital but that transition for consumers is still a ways off.
(Actually his statement isn't entirely correct here, since some of the "regular" basic channels were in fact duplicated in addition to the "expanded" basic channels, just not the local affiliates). So, all these "standard" channels are still analog and they don't plan on changing that any time soon. How long have they been selling "digital cable" now, 5-6 years? I know I've been paying for it for 5 years, and I'm more than a little miffed that the channels I watch most are all still analog. I have to ask myself why I'm still paying for this so-called "digital cable". I would also like to point out that the new channel guide clearly labels (in a big, bold, purple font) these new duplicated channels as "digital", even though it seems now that they are only analog.
Regarding the local digital and HD feeds, we must have permission from each local broadcaster to carry their signal on our system. We have permission to carry the analog signal only. This week I'm meeting with KFDM again to discuss the potential for carriage. Their position has been to request compensation for such an arrangement but we are not interested in paying for a channel carried over the public airwaves. Similarlly we are working with the other broadcasters to obtain their HD signals when available. I hope to see some movement on this very soon.
Interesting. I like the part where they say "we are not interested in paying for a channel carried over the public airwaves". But they sure don't have a problem charging
for it! How many subscribers would they lose if they didn't offer the local networks at all? How many subscribers will they lose when those subscribers actually get HD sets and see what they are missing?
I also find it interesting that Time Warner in Beaumont is still having problems getting agreements for the local digital signals while the problem seems to have been solved right next door in Houston. I would think that the local affiliates would love
for their coverage area to be extended for free. In my opinion, both sides are being ridiculous here. On the one hand TWC is charging us for something they get for free and now they don't want to pay a part of what they get; on the other, the affilates are looking at reaching MANY more homes with TWC coverage than they could without it.
So what's a possible outcome? TWC will lose customers who can pick up the HD signals with an antenna and so cancel their cable subscription, and the local stations will lose customers who can't pick up the signal with an antenna at all.