The American Cable Association, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are objecting to a part of Gannett’s proposed $2.2 billion acquisition of Belo Corp.’s TV stations, saying that the deal threatens to drive up retransmission fees and risk even more station blackouts in negotiation standoffs.
Gannett and the Tribune Co. have recently purchased groups of TV stations in locations where political advertising can be highly lucrative.
Free Press President Craig Aaron: “The FCC needs to end this charade. If the agency’s rules don’t allow mergers between these stations, then de facto mergers shouldn’t be allowed either. If that means breaking up a few big media companies along the way and stopping this deal, so be it.”
The syndicated video clip show from MGM will now be seen in Washington, Minneapolis, Sacramento, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, Greensboro and Portland and Bangor, both Maine.
There’s much speculation in the media business over how local TV news will be affected by the recently announced Gannett-Belo merger, especially in cities like St. Louis and Phoenix where both companies own TV stations.
At 10 am. ET today, Gannett put out the following statement: “Gannett and Dish Network have reached an agreement regarding Dish Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.”
The broadcasting arm of Gannett Co. has told Dish Network that it will pull its stations from the satellite TV provider if Dish does not block the Auto Hop commercial-skipping feature on its DVRs or agree to pay penalties. The current retrans deal between the two companies expires on Oct. 7. Stations in 19 cities would be affected.
The company says its KUSA Denver and KARE Minneapolis averaged a 51 and 49 share, respectively, among adults 25-54 during the first six nights of primetime coverage. In addition, it says all top-25 market Gannett NBC affils ranked in top 10.
Most of the group’s 23 stations have deployed the LiveU LU60 backpack technology.
Eight of the 10 NBC Owned Television Stations will carry the new daytime talk show in fall 2012, including WNBC New York, KNBC Los Angeles and WCAU Philadelphia. Also clearing the talker are stations in 16 of the top 20 markets.