How to watch CBS without cable

Madras: KOIN-HD digital channel 24.3

Prineville: KOIN digital channel 47.3

Bend: KBNZ digital channel 7.1

La Pine: KBNZ digital channel 34.1 or 4.1

Source: Rabbitears.info

BendBroadband subscribers in Prineville, Madras and Crooked River Ranch are missing CBS from their cable TV lineup as the NFL playoffs are underway.

BendBroadband’s parent company, TDS Telecom, and Nextstar Media Group Inc. reached an impasse in negotiations over a retransmission agreement. Both parties have appealed to viewers to put pressure on the other side.

Portland CBS affiliate KOIN is among 14 stations in 10 markets affected by the TDS-Nexstar stalemate, according to a Nexstar press release. The KOIN market area includes Prineville, Madras, Crooked River Ranch, Metolius and Culver, TDS Telecom spokeswoman Cheryl McCollum said.

Bend’s CBS affiliate is KBNZ, a low-power station also owned by TDS.

Nextstar refuses to allow TDS to broadcast its channels until an agreement is reached, TDS complained in a Jan. 4 letter to the FCC. Both parties say they have TV viewers’ interest in mind. TDS said it’s resisting an “outrageous” rate increase that would hit cable subscribers in the wallet.

Nextstar denies that it requested a 129 percent rate increase, as TDS claims, and said that’s “quite an embellishment.”

The Irving, Texas, company says it’s holding out for a reasonable offer that will support local news and operations.

KOIN General Manager Pat Nevin couldn’t be reached for comment.

Both sides say they’ve successfully negotiated with other companies.

Nextstar said it has renewed more than 350 carriage agreements over the past 18 months.

“This is the first time BendBroadband has gone dark with a Big-4 station,” BendBroadband stated on its blog Jan. 2.

Blackouts are becoming more common as broadcast stations negotiate with cable and satellite companies.

There were 145 blackouts in 100 markets in 2017, according to TDS.

Viewers don’t need cable to watch broadcast networks. An antenna will pick up digital channels.

BendBroadband customers can go to https://www.cbs.com/all-access/, subscribe and receive one week free of CBS, McCollum said.

After the first week, the monthly fee is $5.99 with commercials, or $9.99 commercial-free.

CBS will broadcast the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

The network has one of four playoff games this weekend: the L.A. Chargers and New England Patriots on Sunday.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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