Here in Milwaukee, there’s currently a dispute between Time-Warner Cable (which serves most of southeastern Wisconsin) and WISN-TV, Milwaukee’s channel 12 and its ABC affiliate. While the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more details, basically WISN’s owners (Hearst) wants TWC to pay three times what it currently does to carry its stations. TWC so far has refused, and thus WISN’s been off their cable lineup since Friday. (They’re filling in the channel space with the Hallmark Channel for the time being.)
While I’m sure this will eventually be resolved (no doubt at the expense of seeing my cable bills go up even further; they’re already nearing the century mark), I find it hard to empathize with either side in this debate. I also note that since it’s summer (reruns and all), Hearst and Time-Warner Cable can drag this out much further than, say, if this were happening a few months from now. Since WISN airs the over-the-air broadcasts of Packers football games, this dispute will sooner or later be over faster than one can say “angry Cheeseheads.”
Meanwhile, I suppose now’s a time for linking (again) to my cord-cutter post, since over-the-air viewers don’t have to deal with such cable company related antics.
Update (7/19/12): The two sides have reached some sort of agreement, and WISN is back on Time-Warner Cable’s lineup.