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Time Warner vs. Channel 4's LIN Television

Viewers have been paying for cable television service for decades, to get a better picture, more stations, premium channels and, more recently, live-time recording, high definition and shows on demand.

The question is, is now also the time for our longtime major networks and local channels to join the ranks of premium content?

LIN television,  owner locally of CBS affiliate Channel 4 and Channel 23, along with other stations around the country, wants Time Warner to start paying for the privilege of carrying its signal to its thousands of customers.

Time Warner contends that the signal should be free for its customers, as it is for anyone who doesn't have cable.

Caught in the middle: Viewers who enjoy the CBS lineup of cops, crime and reality shows, and Western New York's legions of Buffalo Bills fans who at long last have a season to shout about  and who might not be able to see this week's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

It's hard to find a winner here.

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