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Missing the CBC

February 12, 2009 - Rob Weaver
I'm continuing to get letters from Time Warner Cable subscribers protesting the loss of CBET from the cable-channel lineup. CBET, owned and operated by Canadian Broadcasting Corp., broadcasts from Windsor, Ontario, and can be picked up by antennae on Ohio's North Coast.

Time Warner Cable picked a good time to drop the channel. Had it been done a year from now, there likely would be more outrage. Why? The 2010 Winter Olympics, to begin exactly a year from now in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I make this claim because CBC coverage of past Winter Games has been more timely than programming offered by “official” U.S. networks. That's because U.S. networks approach the Games primarily as prime-time entertainment, rather than treating them as sporting events.

Perhaps there is hope to regain CBET, or reverse other line-up changes, this spring. Time Warner Inc., which owns 85 percent of Time Warner Cable, received regulatory approval from the Internal Revenue Service to spin off the cable unit. The sale had been OK'd Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission.

An Associated Press report says the deal now is on track to be completed by the end of March. Maybe new ownership will be more receptive to customer input. Lately, it seems Time Warner has been focusing on seeing the cable company pay out the last dividend before the sale.


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