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UPDATED: Charter Cable Drops WSB-TV on Jan. 1

The Atlanta station and the cable TV carrier are in a dispute over rights fees.

Charter screen display on WSB lineup slot. (Credit: Steve Burns.)
Charter screen display on WSB lineup slot. (Credit: Steve Burns.)
Updated 9:50 a.m., Jan 1, 2014:

Shortly after midnight Jan. 1, WSB-TV went dark on the Charter cable television lineup, in a dispute over retransmission rights fees.

"Charter is currently negotiating to bring this station back on the air," a Charter programmed statement said. "Unfortunately, the owners of this station are demanding an unfair rate increase ..."

"We want to keep this station on the air, but not at a price that would increase fees to our customers. ... This was their decision, and we apologize for their actions."

The loss of WSB means not only the loss of local news telecasts, but the loss of ABC network programming, which includes such shows as "Good Morning America" and "Modern Family."

WSB news telecasts are streamed live on wsbtv.com, and some ABC programming is available on a delayed basis on hulu.com.

Note: Charter's statement was updated to note that it is "currently" negotiating.

Original post, 10:14 p.m., Dec. 31, 2013:


The arrival of 2014 will also mean the loss of WSB-TV from the Charter cable television lineup.

According to an announcement Tuesday (Dec. 31) by WSB, Charter will drop WSB and its digital companion MeTV from its lineup because the parties could not reach an agreement over retransmission rights fees.

"Cox Media Group and Charter were working diligently to come to a fair and reasonable agreement,” Tim McVay, vice president and general manager of WSB-TV, said in the announcement. “However, it is now clear than an agreement will not be reached.

Barring a last minute deal, Charter will black out the station’s feed at midnight during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” the WSB story said.

This also would mean the loss of ABC programming on WSB, such as “Good Morning America,” and ABC programs like "Modern Family."

-- What's your reaction to this situation? Tell us in the comments below.

See also:

Mack January 01, 2014 at 12:18 AM
Well Charter did it, they just pulled WSB off the air. Now what will they do next. rest assured when WSB comes back on the air rates will go up. Customers lose in this contest all the way around and neither one really cares, that is the sad thing.
James Hoadley January 01, 2014 at 01:29 AM
Charter is gambling that it is too much of a pain to switch TV providers. However it is easier for consumers to switch to alternate TV providers than it is to switch to another ABC source. This will drive more people to cut the cable altogether.
Brian Long January 01, 2014 at 08:07 AM
Charter does not seem to have a problem with all the other local television stations. Sounds to me like WSB looking for more $$$$. I also agree with Mack in the fact that if Charter starts bending to higher rates in order to carry local stations, naturally Charter rates will increase for it's customers. "STOP BEING SO GREEDY Tim Mcvay"!
Frank Ferrer January 01, 2014 at 08:36 AM
There is the option of watching WSB 'Over The Air' with a digital receiver vs paying Charter. And it will be in HD.
Mack January 01, 2014 at 08:38 AM
just got off the phone with Charter. Talked to some one out of state. they have NO idea what we were talking about. seems that Charter is not concerned, As for WSB they have a spot on their web site. both parties need to sit down and talk about this, but neither one will. So we the consumer lose or move to another source for TV. That may be the thing to do.
Steve Burns (Editor) January 01, 2014 at 09:12 AM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. It's clear that this situation affects many people in this area. We'll be monitoring developments.
Molly McGill January 01, 2014 at 09:33 AM
I tried calling Charter as well, but it does no good since the ones answering the phone have no clue what is going on. Looks like the consumer looses on this one.
saandra6403 January 01, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Soooooo glad I dropped Charter for U-verse TV. Charter has the worse customer service, besides going out of service more than any other service I know of. I would NEVER ever use Charter again. No TV is better than using Charter.
Roberto Harrison January 01, 2014 at 10:56 AM
One word "GREED"
Frances Sanders January 01, 2014 at 01:20 PM
I rarely watch ABC anyway, but love all the shows on MeTV. I have had Charter for years and they rarely pull a station. ABC must really want alot of money. Anyone can get a box from Walmart and get ABC for free. I have been happy with Charter for the most part.
Sam Colvert January 01, 2014 at 02:01 PM
Fix this ASAP or we will cancel charter and boycott WSB. Greed will be the downfall of both companies.
Mack January 01, 2014 at 03:45 PM
Steve Burns As the editor of this publication please contact Charter and WSB both to let them know about these complaints along with us. As you can see by most of these comments that a lot of your readership is highly 'TICKED OFF' at both of these companies.
markf10355 January 01, 2014 at 03:59 PM
What a great reason to subscribe to Aereo! They've been up in Atlanta for months now and WSB/ME-TV are great as are all local stations except WGTV TV8. Serves your phone/tablet or smart TV via OTT WWW just like HULU, Netflix, etc..

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