Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., has been tweaking Bright House Networks on its website by showing the MSO’s customers how to change the default channel on their set-top boxes. Under the headline "Make ABC Action News your default channel," ABC offers instructions, starting with: "Ever notice that your Bright House cable box always comes on to the same channel when you turn it on?" ABC goes on to tell subscribers to "stick it to the cable company" by setting their Scientific-Atlantic boxes to ABC Action News. Stick it to the cable company? Nice language for a station that’s a Cable News Network affiliate, and is owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., which profits greatly from its cable networks. There’s no bad blood between the TV station and the cable company, which was surprised to hear about this. "We can appreciate why our friends at WFTS would like customers to have their channel appear first," says Dan Ballister, VP of communications and public affairs for Bright House Networks in St. Petersburg. "However, we are very disappointed with the wording they’ve included in their instructions." WFTS did not comment by deadline.

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