LIN TV is warning Cox Communications subscribers in Florida and Rhode Island that they may lose the signals for stations affiliated with Fox, CBS and The CW on March 1 if a retransmission consent agreement isn’t worked out.
LIN TV CEO Vincent Sadusky says that M&A in the TV station business is likely to increase with “non-traditional” owners as potential sellers. Recently, Sinclair announced a deal to acquire seven stations from private-equity firm Cerberus, while Newport Television, which is owned partly by Providence Equity, has an impressive portfolio, though it may not be for sale.
Cox Communications avoided a protracted retransmission consent fight with broadcaster LIN TV Wednesday, reaching an agreement in principle for stations in five markets hours before they were set to go dark. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
LIN TV CEO Vincent Sandusky joined the chorus of station-group executives suggesting that prices for syndicated programming may have reached an apex. Instead, replacing it with local programming can pull in higher ratings and boost the bottom line with the lower costs. As for off-network sitcoms, Sandusky indicated that syndicators are seeking inflated prices and longer contracts that could outlive a show’s popularity.