Media General Files FCC Complaint as Time Warner Cable Drops WCBD

Claims cable op didn't give required 30-day notice
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Media General has filed a third FCC complaint over an out-of-market station dropped by Time Warner Cable (TWC).

This time, the station is NBC affiliate WCBD Charleston, which TWC is dropping from a system serving Horry County, S.C., according Dan Klintworth, marketing director of Media General's WBTW Florence, S.C., who told B&C the complaint was filed Friday.

It is the third such complaint filed in the past two weeks by the company, which filed the so-called emergency enforcement complaints over TWC's dropping of WBTW and another out-of-market station serving North and South Carolina.

In all the markets along the coastal region of the Carolinas, TWC already delivers an in-market station affiliated with the network (two CBS and one NBC station) of the station it is dropping. It has began deleting some out-of-market stations on these and others systems to make room for "faster broadband and more HD services [that] customers have come to expect," a TWC spokeswoman said of the moves.

The government is also putting some pressure on Internet service providers like cable and telco operators to ramp up broadband speeds to meet the needs of higher-bandwidth applications.

TWC is allowed to drop the Media General stations, but the FCC requires it to provide 30 days notice. Media General says it has done so, both in newspaper notices and online, as well as in follow-up postcards. Media General claims it has not and wants the FCC to stop the moves and penalize TWC.

An FCC staffer was checking on the status of the petitions at press time.

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