Changing channels: Will locals ditch cable?

With three new local stations launching, Adelphia cable customers will certainly notice some subtle changes in programming– most notably in news, which by October will be available not just on NBC29, but also on the new CBS and ABC stations. Could this sudden increase in local options cause current Adelphia subscribers to replace their cable bill with rabbit ears?

Mike Meadows is going to.

"Now we can get three or four perfectly visible stations," says Meadows, a musician who recently cancelled his Adelphia subscription. "You just have to readjust your bar for entertainment. You might have to watch some children's cartoons."

And, Meadows says, there's a definite perk to his decision. "Nothing feels better than not giving Adelphia $100 a month."

Adelphia, however, isn't crying just yet.

"We don't anticipate any real change in subscriber participation," says Adelphia spokesman Lon Carruth. Both new channels are low-power UHF channels, he says, meaning that while they can be picked up with an antenna at area homes, the reception will still be clearer through the cable company.

And for those who are hopelessly addicted to cable network shows, such as Bravo's Queer Eye, or any of HBO's offerings, giving up Adelphia just isn't in the cards.

"Hell, no," says Ellen Teplitzky, a local attorney, asked if she would consider such a change. "I want my HBO." She cites that network's Six Feet Under series as must-see, and says her kids want their MTV.

HBO fan Leslie Levin agrees.

"I need my Sopranos," laughs Levin, adding, "I don't really watch the local channels."

It seems these stations' effect will be up in the air until they go on the air. So stay tuned.


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