UPDATED: Will Some Gwinnett TV Viewers Lose an Atlanta Station?

Charter Cable and WSB blame each other as contract talks stall; station may no longer be available Jan. 1.

Screenshot of WSB livestream, Dec. 30, 2013.
Screenshot of WSB livestream, Dec. 30, 2013.
Updated 12:24 p.m.

Updated 11:32 a.m.

Charter Senior Director of Communications John R. Miller issued the following statement Monday to Patch regarding the situation with WSB:

"Charter has made the choice to focus on resolving terms of our agreement and negotiating in good faith – business to business. We have no comment on why Cox-owned WSB would choose to remove their signal from our customers during contract talks."

Original post, 9:39 a.m. 

The new year may mean the loss of a popular Atlanta television station and its affiliated network shows for some Gwinnett County viewers, according to social media posts and television information.

WSB-TV, an ABC network affiliate, is telling viewers that Charter Communications, which provides cable TV services to many Gwinnett households, "may drop" the channel on Jan. 1, 2014. WSB made the statement on Twitter on Dec. 24, and via a statement on the "crawl" during local newscasts. (See the attached screenshot.)

The station gave no further details. However, such disputes between stations and cable/satellite providers generally involve fees.

A Charter spokesperson at the corporate office Monday (Dec. 30) declined to comment on the situation. Also, Charter's Facebook and Twitter feeds made no mention of the situation.

In a Twitter post on Dec. 24, WSB said:

Attn Charter Subscribers:On 1/1/14 Charter Cable may drop WSB-TV from its lineup.Call Charter 1-888-438-2427 to tell them do not drop #WSBTV

Should Charter indeed drop WSB, it would mean more than the loss of local news programming. WSB carries such ABC shows as "Modern Family" and "Dancing With The Stars" in prime time. Also, the Rose Parade from Pasadena, Calif., is scheduled to be on WSB on Jan. 1.

Reaction on WSB's Facebook page has been strong.

"Please work something out with Charter Cable so that they continue to air WSB. It is ridiculous that this has even gotten this far (or that I am just now hearing about it when the deadline is January 1st).", one viewer wrote.

Note: The deck headline was updated at 12:24 p.m.

-- What are your thoughts on the WSB-Charter situation? Do you think the impasse will actually happen? Tell us in the comments below.

Suzanne Wray December 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM
It is ridiculous to drop such a great station with all the great programming. I called Charter, the customer service person replied that she was not aware of this situation!!!!!
Steve Burns (Editor) December 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Suzanne, all Charter employees may not be aware of the situation. It relates more to business than customer service, as I understand it.
Mack December 31, 2013 at 03:53 PM
When you call Charter customer 'No Service', as Clark Howard calls them, they answer the phone in a different state outside of Georgia in most cases. They could care less what we the customer thinks about the product that is being put out there. They know there is a "Monopoly' in the cable business in our area. Try to get another cable company and see what happens. AT&T and satellite may be the other alternatives out there, but they are regulated by the FCC which controls the channels you see in your 'package' Wish we could select and pay for the channels that we as a consumers would like to get and leave the off our cable. The FCC will not let you do that. This boils down to just how much money it will cost us the consumer and how much we pay for their services. Not a big fan of the current system as you can tell.


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