Q: Did you know that Mediacom subscribers in the Twin Cities have been shut out of watching NBC? Mediacom is in a dispute with TEGNA, and, ironically, this happened after a rate increase. My cost for TV and internet service (I have a dumbed-down package, far from the most expensive) has gone up 100% in less than four years. It is ridiculous that we do not get a major network like NBC, especially after all these price increases.
A: Disputes between media companies and cable and satellite providers are relatively common, with both sides complaining and pointing fingers at the other for their inability to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. It is my experience that the disputes are resolved over time, and the channels return, but it is viewers who pay the price as they miss their favorite programming.
You can watch NBC for free with an antenna, and that is what I suggest you do. If you go to antennaweb.org and enter your ZIP code, the site will recommend the proper antenna for your area, as well as list the distance from and direction to the transmitting towers. For your ZIP code, a medium-sized, directional outdoor antenna will pick up the signal from KARE (as well as the other broadcast stations). This likely will cost several hundred dollars professionally installed. You can try an indoor antenna first. The $119 Antop AT-500SBS (antopusa.com) and $75 Antennas Direct ClearStream MAX-V indoor/outdoor antenna with optional stand (antennasdirect.com) should work.
Given your frustration, it sounds like you might be close to cutting the cord. An antenna pulling in lots of channels will make that a lot easier to do. I have friends who were shocked at how many channels they could get with their antenna, and combined with a few streaming services, they don't miss cable at all. Just keep in mind that the streaming service subscriptions can add up, but by shopping for bundled packages, you should be able to get most, if not all, of the programming you want for under $50 a month.
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Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.