Time Warner Cable decides to keep NECN

A cable truck is parked at a Time Warner Cable office in San Diego, Calif., earlier this month. Time Warner has decided not to drop NECN from its lineup, reversing an early decision.
Mike Blake | Reuters
A cable truck is parked at a Time Warner Cable office in San Diego, Calif., earlier this month. Time Warner has decided not to drop NECN from its lineup, reversing an early decision.
Posted Dec. 20, 2013, at 5:09 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2013, at 10:02 p.m.

In a reversal of a previous decision, Time Warner Cable has opted to continue carrying the New England Cable News channel.

A Time Warner Cable spokesman wrote to the Bangor Daily News on Friday afternoon that upon “further discussion,” the company had decided to keep the New England-centric, 24-hour news channel as part of its lineup.

“Time Warner Cable customers who currently have access to NECN will continue to have access after January 1, 2014; there will be no disruption in service,” Scott Pryzwansky, a company spokesman, said in a statement. “NECN has now agreed to work with our leadership at Time Warner Cable News to improve the quality of their local programming for our customers.”

The announcement reverses a decision Time Warner made earlier this month to drop NECN because it doesn’t provide “good value” for its customers. NECN is owned by NBC Universal, a division of Comcast Corp. It is based in Newton, Mass., and operates five bureaus in the region, including one in Portland.

Customers of Time Warner Cable immediately began complaining about the move. Even politicians got involved. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree sent a letter earlier this week to Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt asking him to reconsider the decision.

Pryzwansky did not offer specifics as to why the company reversed its decision.

Mike St. Peter, NECN’s general manager, released the following statement Friday evening: “We appreciate that the residents of Maine and New England view NECN as a critical service. We are thrilled Time Warner heard their customers’ voices and will continue to carry NECN. We remain committed to quality programming and our partnership with Time Warner.”

Pingree said she was pleased with the news.

“I’m glad that Time Warner listened to the customers in Maine and throughout New England who didn’t want to lose access to the 24-hour regional news coverage that they get from NECN,” Pingree said in a statement. “It was clear that there is a demand for the service NECN provides, especially in rural areas of Maine.”

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