Time Warner Cable CBS Battle Continues: NFL Cord Cutter Options


Amazingly with only 2 weeks until NFL  TWC and CBS have not settled their differences over re-transmission fees. And even more surprising is TWC’s pro-cord cutter interim solution: offering free antennas to subscribers affected by the blackout.

The free antennas are rabbit ears by the way, which depending on your distance to the broadcast tower  might not work so great. But as long as it is free  why not give it a try and see if you can receive your local CBS station.

If you get a blank screen or occasional freeze frames get a better antenna. A basic roof-mount always works better than indoor models. Check out antenna web for specific advice.

If you live an a city served by Aereo  you might give their $8/month service a try. Unfortunately Aereo covers only four metro areas today.

Contributor Bob has often suggested filmon as an alternative.  I’m watching a clear stream of local KTLA at the moment. Unfortunately I don’t see any CBS channels in the listing. Let me know in the comments if I’m missing something.

Although not a cord cutter choice, you could always do what CBS is suggesting and switch to another provider.  In most TWC cities those would include either U-Verse or Fios, DirecTV and Dish.  If that battle gets too close to NFL week 1 we sill no doubt see subscribers jump ship. Has anyone done this yet?

There is also DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket or as I have suggested connecting the $99 mobile version to your TV.

Perhaps the last choice is the unauthorized streaming option.  Quality tends to be very bad on these with lots of freezes and really low resolution.

Do you have any other options? let me know if the comments below.

Week 1 NFL 2013 TV Schedule:

Thursday, Sep. 05
Baltimore at Denver 8:30 pm NBC Sports Authority Field
Sunday, Sep. 08
New England at Buffalo 1:00 pm CBS Ralph Wilson Stadium
Tennessee at Pittsburgh 1:00 pm CBS Heinz Field
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Jets 1:00 pm FOX MetLife Stadium
Atlanta at New Orleans 1:00 pm FOX Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Kansas City at Jacksonville 1:00 pm CBS EverBank Field
Seattle at Carolina 1:00 pm FOX Bank of America Stadium
Cincinnati at Chicago 1:00 pm CBS Soldier Field
Miami at Cleveland 1:00 pm CBS FirstEnergy Satdium
Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 pm FOX Ford Field
Oakland at Indianapolis 1:00 pm CBS Lucas Oil Stadium
Arizona at St. Louis 4:25 pm FOX Edward Jones Dome
Green Bay at San Francisco 4:25 pm FOX Candlestick Park
N.Y. Giants at Dallas 8:30 pm NBC AT&T Stadium
Monday, Sep. 09
Philadelphia at Washington 7:10 pm ESPN FedEx Field
Houston at San Diego 10:20 pm ESPN Qualcomm Stadium


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14 Responses to Time Warner Cable CBS Battle Continues: NFL Cord Cutter Options

  1. Al G says:

    The Amazon $99 deal can be made quite a bit more attractive: for those who don’t want the game, Best Buy will buy it from you for a $45 gift card. Makes the effective cost of the Game Day thing just $55.


    Shame it isn’t for any set top boxes or game consoles, but still pretty incredible deal when compared to what we’ve had in previous years.

  2. Augustine says:

    As someone who’s weaned of TV, I hope that people realize that they don’t miss CBS productions that much and that might do without it.

    Yet, if someone would like to try an antenna, I got a Mohu antenna for my daughter, a poor graduate student not interested in a cable bill, and it works quite well even indoors: http://gomohu.com Not cheap, but the result is worth its price tag.


  3. Len Mullen says:

    This is just a fun game of chicken. I don’t think it will last to the first NFL came. If it does, I think the NFL’s advertisers will be very unhappy and that will make the NFL very unhappy. I could see the NFL allowing emergency simulcast of games on another channel (espn, nfl network) and even allowing everyone to receive the NFL Network for the duration of the emergency.

    The fact is that the NFL, its advertisers, CBS, and TWC want to work this out. None of them win if people start putting up antennas or sampling Aereo.

    What has surprised me is the fact that the satellite providers and FiOS have not been using this to promote themselves as an alternative. I suppose this an instance where they do not want to help CBS in anticipation of their own impending negotiations.

    No matter, I would expect Aereo to be running a Got CBS campaign and they seem to be ignoring the situation as well.

    That’s probably a clue that we should too.

    • Greg says:

      Interesting observations about the silent competitors Len. But I wonder most about what is happening with the subs. Have you ever switched providers? It doesn’t happen over night – there can be a 1 week + wait. So if you are really nervous about week 1 now is the time to make plans.

      I’d love to see the drama of this going past September 8!

  4. Bob says:

    On filmon, did you click on “Local Channels” on the list on the left? It will then give you your local networks. Here in Ct. they offer both NYC and Boston affiliates, actually get the choice of either.
    As far as watching sports, stream2watch and strmbwl.blogspot.com have worked great for me. I’ve been watching baseball all year on both, just use adblock to block pop ups, the stream quality is just fair, but for the most part smooth. They had the pre season football games and will have the NFL.

    • Greg says:

      I did check local channels but couldn’t find any CBS here in SoCal. Bob you seem to be the king of these unauthorized stream sources. Could you compile a list for us?

      • Bob says:

        As for live tv, stream2watch and strmbwl.blogspot.com are the ones I use the most. They basically have the same content, with slight variations once in a while. Both are great for live sports. For watching tv series, cokeandpopcorn and stream-tv are my two favorites. The best streams are provided by putlocker and vk, I always use adblock and don’t download anything. VK streams can be adjusted from 240 to 720 quality, depending on your internet speed. Tonight I’ll watch episode 3 of Breaking Bad on one or the other. Sometimes I use my Logitech Revue if there are minimal pop ups, if I can’t use it I connect my chromebook to the pc. It has an hdmi connection which is great, you don’t need to connect a separate audio input. Also vidbull streams are excellent also, not quite hd but great quality.
        Watch 32 is a good movie site, you can watch the full movie or stream it in parts. I like it in parts as it’s minimal buffering, and you can watch in segments like a tv series. I can use Watch 32 with the Revue too with no problems. I always try the Revue first as it’s already connected. Can’t watch much sports with it though, too many pop ups and spam, switch to the Chromebook and adblock, no problems.

  5. Len Mullen says:

    I’ve actually switched within a week — it’s just a scheduling thing. They contract out all the work, so if they wanted to make hay, the bodies are available.

    I’d like to see this drag into the new season. The best possible outcome for the consumer is an a la carte option and I can see that coming out of this. I’ve heard CBS wants $4/subscriber and currently gets closer to $1. Let’s say TWC tells CBS to charge what they want, but TWC gets $0.50 to provide access to CBS. Now CBS has skin in the game and should be motivated to attract subscribers with great programming — or discounts. Either way the consumer wins. The risk for TWC is that CBS Hulus up and leaves the cable company without programming. This would encourage TWC to keep their fees low.

    Obviously, all of this works better when there is no free OTA, so there is the risk that such a shakeup would also impact broadcast television.

    It’s easy to see why everyone is so nervous right now.

    • Greg says:

      Thanks for the link Bob. I do remember reading about “aereokiller” and now I realize that filmon was that previously strangely named company. I also remember something about the reason Aereo is staying out of CA for now has to do with the legal trials of filmon.

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