Time Warner Cable offers antenna to customers who want CBS

The company offers customers affected by the CBS blackout a free over-the-air antenna that can be picked up from its retail locations or a $20 credit that can be used to purchase antennae at Best Buy.

Mari Benitez/CNET

Time Warner Cable is trying to find a way around the CBS blackout.

The company on Friday announced that affected Time Warner Cable customers in Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, and elsewhere can walk into one of its retail locations in those areas and pick up a free over-the-air antenna. With that tuner in hand, customers will be able to access the blacked-out CBS broadcast stations.

CBS, the parent company of CNET, and Time Warner Cable have been in a bitter battle over broadcast rights. The companies have so far not come to an agreement, leading to a blackout of CBS programming in select markets. Given Time Warner Cable's free over-the-air antenna offer, it appears the companies aren't any closer to coming to an agreement.

The over-the-air antenna will allow customers in certain areas to access CBS programming from their televisions. In order to do so, however, they'll need a television that comes with a digital tuner, or a converter box that allows for access to over-the-air programming. Local major networks, like CBS, broadcast their programming over the air, allowing for tuners to pick up those streams without requiring a cable or satellite subscription.

According to Time Warner Cable, it has just a limited quantity of antennae available. To fulfill demand for antennae, Time Warner Cable is also offering affected customers in the aforementioned cities a $20 credit towards the purchase of over-the-air antennae. That credit is only available at Best Buy.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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