WSOC-TV & Time Warner: Get a room | CLT Blog

WSOC-TV & Time Warner: Get a room

Posted on 25 Mar 2009 by Justin Ruckman

So, apparently WSOC-TV is making unfair demands from Time Warner in renegotiating their broadcast contract, or something like that. Time Warner doesn’t want to pay what they say is 5x more than any other station is requesting in Charlotte. Both are publicly pointing fingers at each other: WSOC-TV via their homepage, and Time Warner through a mass direct email campaign I just received.

Who’s to say which is right or wrong? Neither give us any hard facts in their arguments, only vague appeals saturated in angry sentiment.

Both say that if the other party doesn’t agree to each other’s terms, broadcast of WSOC-TV will cease through Time Warner Cable on April 1. That’s exactly one week from today. Time Warner says you can still watch ABC programming via antenna or online, and reminds you of News 14. WSOC-TV tells you how to sign up for satellite service.

Will anything like this actually happen? Of course not. The negative effects on both brands would be tremendous, and they’re both well aware. This is a stunt to see who can rally the most pitchforks and subsequently have the most leverage when they finally sit back down to close the deal.

And it’s disgusting. Stop wasting our time with your bickering. Stop insulting our intelligence by saying the problem is really so out of hand as to come to this. And stop emailing me your bullshit at 2:00 in the morning.

You want results? Give us cold, hard data. Trust us with the truth.

The recession is really bringing out the worst in old media.


Surprise, our couple is back together.


  1. blutink78 25 Mar 2009 at 2:18 PM

    I got a phone call from a PR rep for TWC in NY yesterday after threatening a mass petition for a boycott of TWC and she said she would look into it.It is truely messed up for big business to fray the already harshly abrased nerves of the public with this publicity stunt.I did find it funny that i was followed by not only her but 2 other TWC reps after posting my tweets.It’s just wrong.

  2. Tammy Varnadore 25 Mar 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Greed is the downfall of our large businesses. Wsoc-TV has just ran an add that they will be off the air on Apr 1st. I say good ridance if that is how they want it, and I am sure their sponsers may feel they aren’t getting the audiance that they would like to reach and stop running ads, so it could be the nose cutting off to spite the face situation.

  3. tPet 25 Mar 2009 at 3:11 PM

    I’m thinking that all local affiliates will be exploring this and other desperate revenue grabs in these, their waning days. Trust me .. pretty soon the nets will wake up and say, “Gee, we really don’t need local affiliates any more. It’s an outmoded model. Been so for years. Just about all our desired demographic is on satellite or cable .. and the web is gaining as a viable revenue stream. Who needs those headaches? See ya.” Trust me .. it’s coming.

  4. Ben Eige 25 Mar 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Local affiliates have gone off cable systems in several markets nationwide recently,… Often deals have been struck, but not after a blackout for some weeks on cable networks. I agree with tPet, their day’s are waning and they need to begin to explore other options as access to media becomes accessible through so many different pipelines. Hulu anyone? Wait, they don’t cover ABC, but what do I watch on ABC anyway?

  5. Justin Ruckman 25 Mar 2009 at 7:12 PM

    Here’s a fixed version of that Ohio Media link:

    Interesting that they went so far as so boot three stations temporarily while terms were reached. But in the end, of course they *were* reached, because what else is there to do when each other profits so greatly off the others’ presence?

    Also: the CBS affiliate that lost its news broadcast on cable for a week is *still* struggling to recover. Looks like TWC has the upper hand in this skirmish. I’d really like to see some actual data regarding how other outlets’ contracts compare to what WSOC-TV wants.

  6. Matthew Tyndal 25 Mar 2009 at 11:12 PM

    This happened with MTV and TWC in Myrtle over the new year. This also happened with ABC and TWC in Fayetteville a few years ago. It got so bad they did turn off ABC for like a week or somewhere around that.

    This is stupid and if I dont get to see Lost on TV like I normally do on Wed. then TWC will get a call and be cancelled the next day. I dont care whose fault it is. I will just begin to watch it online and save some cash.

  7. JamesWillamor 25 Mar 2009 at 11:23 PM

    I miss Bill Walker on WSOC. He was old school.

  8. Justin Ruckman 25 Mar 2009 at 11:42 PM

    Totally. That was the golden age.

    He came to the Ken Burns talk a ways back, and when he stood up to ask a question, the guy straight up commanded respect and undivided attention. We were all already programmed to listen to his voice.

  9. JamesWillamor 26 Mar 2009 at 12:07 AM

    They used to have a outfield billboard at Knights Stadium with a picture of WSOC sports guy Harold Johnson. Every game Homer the Dragon would ride his ATV out there and beat on the picture of “the big guy” with a plastic bat. Classic.

  10. Vicki 27 Mar 2009 at 2:24 PM

    What a shame. I am so upset that all my favorite shows are on WSOC TV in Rock Hill SC. What can be done? I will be very disappointed to miss all my regular shows that are ending their season until the fall. I won’t be able to see the shows next week.

  11. Stevo 31 Mar 2009 at 2:59 AM

    Rock Hill should not be affected by the Time Warner battle. Cable is provided by Comporium which is not part of the dispute. FYI, if you have an over the air antenna in York, Chester or Lancaster counties, you have a choice of 2 ABC stations in digital WOLO (251, DT 8)in Columbia is as strong as WSOC in Charlotte. Parts of the WOLO news cast are produced at sister station WCCB 18 in Charlotte and share some of the same anchors. If your just want to boycott WSOC, here are other ABC stations that can be received: (West: Gastonia, Shelby, Linconton, WLOS 13 from Asheville)(East: Monroe, Wadesboro, Albemarle, WPDE 15 in Florence/Myrtle Beach) (South including South Charlotte WOLO 25 “Digital is more powerful” Columbia), (North: Mooresville, Salisbury, Statesville: WXLV 45 in Winston-Salem).

  12. Sherry R 31 Mar 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Well I like WSOC and I like Good Morning America and Charlie Gibson…and though I can watch my ABC shows online, that’s not the point. I’ve sent many messages to both TWC and WSOC and told them to pull up their big boy panties and swallow their greed and Make. A. Deal. Been writing for over two weeks. I’m mad and I’m sad over this loss. I have much to miss and I hate having to go to a different channel for news which *I* find to be second best. This is like kidnapping by both parties.

  13. Susan 31 Mar 2009 at 1:44 PM

    This mess can be summed up in one word: “GREED

  14. Seth 3 Apr 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Not to be off topic but have you guys seen TWC newest cash cow:

    Imposing internet bandwidth caps is a step backwards.