DTV coupon requests surging in LIN TV blackout markets

Here's an interesting one. While we'd say it's perfectly normal to see upticks in voucher requests from areas affected by early analog shutoff drills, this here is just bizarre. According to a release put out by the American Cable Association, an irregular surge in coupon requests has occurred in three markets where Time Warner Cable dropped LIN TV's stations after the two couldn't come to a retransmission agreement. On top of that, FCC chairman Kevin Martin has reportedly asserted that the voucher program is running out of cash, but given that this isn't the FCC's program, we'd take that as speculation more than anything. Either way, because of this blackout, it seems consumers are asking for items (and thus, cash) they probably don't even need. Look LIN TV, we know you loathe TWC, but please -- put your stations back online. Do it for the taxpayer. Do it for love.