Viewers in western Ventura County, just North of Los Angeles, will now be able to see their favorite ABC shows in HD thanks to KEYT‘s owners pressing Time Warner Cable to fully honor its must-carry agreement with the station.
Time Warner had been broadcasting the Santa Barbara ABC affiliate’s HD signal to the eastern part of Ventura County which is in the stations DMA. But according to RBR-TVR blog,
The station has a special market definition that makes certain otherwise non-market communities part of its own individual market pursuant to an FCC modification dating back to 1995 – and as such, it wants its HD signal carried on the local TWC system.
The western communities were only seeing the station in SD since TWC countered the Smith Media owned station was not entitled to must-carry for western Ventura County since the station had elected retransmission consent and thus the communities in question were only entitled to an analog signal.
The FCC ruled that the retransmission consent only applied to the eastern half of Ventura County and that the western half qualified for must-carry allowing the HD signal to be seen in communities including Oxnard, Ojai, Santa Paula, Camarillo and Ventura.