MyReporter had two questions about WTMV channel 29, which carries AntennaTV:
Q. Why was the AntennaTV network, broadcast on WTMV Channel 29 in Odgen, added to Time Warner cable in Pender and Columbus counties but not added to New Hanover County, where the station is licensed? Time Warner customers in Wilmington have been asking for this network for months.
A. Clark Tutt, president of WTMV’s owner Tutt Media Group, said he is aware of Wilmington viewers’ desire to see his station — which includes AntennaTV’s popular retro programming — but said there are hurdles standing the way. He said that Time Warner Cable operates on a full-power station rule that grants the cable company the discretion to deny a low-power station like WTMV a spot on the cable lineup when there are full-power stations in the area, like WECT and WWAY.
In an email to the StarNews, Time Warner Cable’s director of public relations, Scott Pryzwansky, said, “An over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channel can choose between Must Carry or Retransmission Consent status in order to gain carriage on any cable operator. WTMV selected Must Carry status. WTMV is a broadcast channel that also happens to be a low-power station. In compliance with FCC rules, as a (low power TV station) they qualify to be on the lineup in some areas and others they do not. We do carry WTMV in the areas they qualify for carriage.”
The bottom line: The issue is something that must be sorted out by Tutt and TWC.
Pryzwansky said there are no plans to bring WTMV to its TWC’s New Hanover County lineup at this time.
Tutt said he hasn’t given up trying to get WTMV to New Hanover County TWC customers and urged anyone who wants to channel to call and let the cable company know.
Viewers can call TWC at 1-800-892-4357.
Q. Aren’t local cable companies (Charter and Time Warner) required by the FCC to carry all local over-the-air channels that provide an acceptable signal in their market? Why have they not added the new station WTMV channel 29? Also, doesn’t the city of Wilmington have a franchise agreement that states they must carry all local channels?
A. Cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Charter are required to carry local broadcast networks, which are stations that can be received by antenna, like WECT and WWAY.
New Hanover County operated a franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable until April 2009. Following the expiration of that agreement, the county transitioned into a state-issued agreement, as required by law. For more information on that change, see this earlier MyReporter answer.
Date posted: January 9, 2015
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