A ruling by the FCC will allow WPDE NewsChannel 15 to return to the HD tier of Time Warner Cable in Georgetown County, by giving the station what's called "significantly viewed status."
WPDE was removed from Time Warner's HD tier in March of 2012 when the ABC network enforced what is called "network non-duplication."
On Time Warner Cable, that meant our local programming (our newscasts) were only viewable on the lower tier channels, 9 and 108, and ABC programming, like Good Morning America, World News Tonight, or prime time programs like Grey's Anatomy and Dancing with the Stars were only on WCIV in Charleston.
As a result of the FCC's decision, Time Warner Cable must fully reinstate WPDE programming within 30 days to the HD tier.
HTC and Southern Coastal Cable in Georgetown County chose not to interrupt ABC's programming during the FCC's deliberation process, so their customers will not see any change. We will continue to be on their HD tier.
We will let you know when the Time Warner change will be made.
Tom Rice, South Carolina's 7th District Congressional Representative, issued the following statement on the FCC's decision to allow WPDE "significantly viewed status."
"Today, is a good day for Georgetown County residents. During my campaign I promised that if elected, I would work to ensure that Georgetown County residents have access to the local news coverage they desired. Over the past few months, I have met with stakeholders and the parties involved such as: the FCC, National Association of Broadcasters, Time Warner, Nielsen, and the SC Broadcasters Association Delegation, to learn more about the issue and how to help my constituents gain access to Florence-Myrtle Beach local news, sports coverage, and area television they preferred.
"I worked with WPDE-TV to petition the FCC to allow Georgetown County to have access to the programming more closely associated with their communities. Today, we received notification from the FCC that WPDE-TV's request for 'significantly viewed status' in Georgetown County has been granted."