Time Warner Cable, the largest cable television provider in Maine, is dropping the New England Cable News Dec. 31 because “it’s not a good value,” a company spokesman said.

Time Warner added Al-Jazeera America, the English-language counterpart to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network. Adding Al-Jazeera and deleting NECN are not related, Time Warner Director of Public Relations Scott Pryswansky said in an email Thursday.

“They’re completely unrelated and very different. One is a digital national network requiring a Preferred TV subscription” while NECN is locally focused, analog, and part of a starter cable television package.

Time Warner is always evaluating “the value of the programming in our lineup, and we occasionally add or drop channels,” Pryswansky said. “We do not believe NECN represents a good value for our customers. Values includes several factors, including cost, viewership and unique content.”

When asked how Time Warner was notifying customers, Pryzwansky said notices of the changes are published in the legal section of newspapers. “In addition, these channel changes were posted in the ‘Channel Information’ section on our customer website.”

The NECN general manager isn’t happy about being dropped, and disagreed that the station isn’t a good value. They have been negotiating with Time Warner about costs.


“We are very disappointed in their decision, which will result in fewer options and diminished service for their New England customers,” Mike St. Peter, NECN Senior Vice President and General Manager of NECN, said in an email Thursday.

NECN is committed to serving New England views with the local news, weather and information they need, St. Peter said. “We just recently added over five additional hours per day of live regional news coverage, and are actively investing in improving our service to our viewers,” St. Peter said.

Sun Journal reader comments online were overwhelmingly unhappy about the change, with some questioning how NECN wasn’t a good value, they preferred New England news and didn’t want the Al-Jazeera station.

Pryswansky said any channel change Time Warner makes results in some unhappy customers.  “But NECN just isn’t a good value for all of our New England customers.”

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