GSN, Outdoor Channel Safe for Now

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Two independent networks that Time Warner Cable was threatening to drop in Binghamton, N.Y., and Waco, Texas, won reprieves and are staying on those systems.

Time Warner in Binghamton shifted GSN to a digital tier Thursday to help make room for SportsNet New York, the new network from Major League Baseball’s New York Mets. And The Outdoor Channel will remain on the cable operator’s lineup in Waco.

Time Warner had threatened to totally delete GSN from its lineup in Binghamton, but instead, the operator moved it from channel 50 to a digital slot, channel 124. Time Warner then put C-SPAN on channel 50 and slid the new regional sports service into C-SPAN’s prior berth, channel 24.

“Time Warner Cable did not drop GSN from its programming lineup after a large public outcry,” GSN said in a prepared statement. “We continue to talk with them regarding various issues and are hopeful for a positive outcome from those discussions.”

Time Warner spokesman Mark Harrad confirmed that GSN has been moved to digital in Binghamton, adding that it was a local decision.

SportsNet New York, which is part-owned by Time Warner Inc., launched Thursday at 5 p.m. (EST).

Time Warner is also threatening to drop GSN in New York City in May.

GSN wasn’t the only network to gain new life on Time Warner systems. The Outdoor Channel will remain on the MSO’s Waco system one week after Time Warner said it would drop the service by April 1.

Outdoor Channel CEO Andrew Dale said the network benefited from subscriber outcry over the potential loss of the outdoor-sports service. He added that the network is negotiating with Time Warner to stave off elimination at the cable operator’s San Diego system by April 1.

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