Suddenlink Communications has returned NBC programming to its cable systems in the Austin, TX area, one of two markets where it has been in a retransmission standoff with LIN Television (1/3/08 TVBR #1). Suddenlink signed a deal to carry KCEN-TV (Ch. 6) Waco-Temple-Bryan on its Williamson County systems in lieu of LIN’s KXAN-TV (Ch. 36) Austin.
KCEN, owned by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, is licensed to Temple and thus puts a good signal into Williamson County, located north of Austin. In a statement posted on its website, KXAN questions whether cable subscribers so close to Austin are really interested in local news from the next TV market. "Suddenlink clearly placed little value on KXAN throughout negotiations. Their decision to contract with a long-distance NBC affiliate is an unfortunate one for Suddenlink subscribers. KXAN is a trusted source for local news in the community, and has been since 1965. This deal forces viewers to watch news relevant to Waco, not Austin, and deprives viewers of local news, sports, and specialty programs. We are still available to viewers over satellite and through AT&T’s U-verse and we look forward to many more years serving our community," the LIN station told local viewers on its website.