Rant: Charter Cable & Belo Communications

If you live in the St. Louis area and subscribe to cable TV, you likely receive the service from Charter Communications.  Like other providers, Charter has been increasing their High Definition content over the past couple of years.  Imagine how frustating it is to have one of the major network affiliates refuse to allow Charter to carry their HD signal.  That’s been the situation until now as the local CBS affiliate, BEL-O station KMOV-TV, has demanded more money for the HD signal.

For the past two years, I (and others) have been unable to watch many sporting events in HD.  Half of the NFL broadcasts every week, NCAA Final Four basketball, the Super Bowl, etc. etc.  Additionally, a lot of the CBS primetime lineup is broadcasting in HD.  This year even Survivor was in HD.  This has been extremely frustrating.

Now comes news that due to their inability to reach an agreement, Charter will cease to carry KMOV’s signal at all on December 31st.  That means that if you are one of the half million Charter Cable subscribers in the area, you will not be able to watch the local CBS affiliate at all. 

Isn’t it incumbent on these providers to act in the public interest?  How can this be acting in the public interest?  I’ve sent messages to both Charter & KMOV expressing my frustration and I encourge you to do the same.  You can bet that I’ll be rectifying this by switching providers for television services.  Additionally, I will no longer watch the local content from KMOV and I will consume any CBS programming via on-line services.

In this market, when there are so many options for consumers, this seems extremely short sighted on the part of both of these companies.  Charter & KMOV, you blew it!



4 Responses

  1. According to KMOV, they have been letting Charter run their channel for free (while other channels get paid for their programming) and that Charter was unwilling to start paying. As far as the HD service, I have no idea about that. I’m guessing KMOV just wasn’t willing to go that far for free.

    – Schev

  2. The only fair comparison would be to see what the other local stations get paid (if anything). Traditional cable networks have alwasy gotten paid, so if that’s what they’re comparing it to then it’s an invalid comparison. Other than the news, KMOV doesn’t create or produce any content at all.

    Why would Charter pay them anything for something that KMOV broadcasts over the air for free?

    Sorry, this really ticks me off.


  3. Oh I completely agree. I wasn’t advocating one side or the other, just trying to relay the information I was aware of.

    I am dismayed by this whole ordeal as well because I watch KMOV a lot. I currently only have an antennae, but we were planning to upgrade to cable when the digital conversion happens.

    – Schev

  4. BELO this is a very shameful act on your part. Call BELO’s WFAA station at 214-748-9631

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