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Time Warner Cable offers antennas during CBS blackout

The Time Warner Cable office is shown in Carlsbad, California November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Time Warner Cable office is shown in Carlsbad, California November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Inc is offering free antennas to help customers watch CBS via broadcast signals during a blackout that is in its third week, the cable operator said on Friday.

During the blackout, more than 3 million Time Warner Cable customers in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas have been unable to watch CBS, and the companies have been unable to reach a new programming deal since their agreement expired in June.

The cable company notified customers on its website and by email that they could ask for basic indoor antennas at their local Time Warner Cable store. It also offered a $20 voucher for customers who want to buy antennas at Best Buy Co Inc.

"All blacked-out broadcast stations remain available over the air, and most households can receive the signals if they have the right equipment," the cable company said.

It also offered Amazon gift cards so customers can watch CBS programs, using Amazon's Internet streaming service.

CBS declined to comment on the offers.

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said Thursday that both sides continued to negotiate but that no resolution was in sight. Most analysts expect the two parties to reach a deal by the time the National Football League season kicks off in September.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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