NBC Off the Air, at Least for Time Warner Subscribers in Austin

The local NBC affiliate, KXAN, is no longer being shown on Time Warner cable. Instead of showing the NBC broadcast, Time Warner is airing a one-sided smear campaign that would have consumers believe that KXAN is to blame.

First of all, I don’t have a choice in my local cable and internet provider. Despite the fact that Grande Communications offers great deals all around me, I can only use Time Warner. In the past five apartments I’ve lived in, I had no choice. The cable companies offer their product at a price and the consumer has to take it or leave it. Where’s the free market in that? Didn’t we already learn out lesson with monopolies when Ma Bell operated this way?

Time Warner says that KXAN gets the spectrum for free, but wants to charge consumers to receive the broadcast. Time Warner really points out that KXAN has the infrastructure in place and wants us to be upset that KXAN would charge for it! Which is ironic because Time Warner already has infrastructure in place and they want us to pay for it. TV stations are making big money because there is no competition and the expensive bit (laying the cable) has already been done. Whenever Time Warner charges me $6 a month for a cable box (on top of $40 for standard cable), I cannot take their complaints seriously; they’re both greedy. Stop passing the buck on to the consumer!

Another point that Time Warner makes is that you can watch most NBC shows on NBC.com. The truth is, you can watch most TV shows online using Hulu, YouTube, or Vuze (to name a few). Set up a HTPC (home theatre personal computer) and ditch the overpriced, monopolistic cable company altogether!