CBS, TWC Set Stage For Long Retrans Battle

CBS starts an ad blitz in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere claiming its stations are being held “hostage” as the cable provider bemoans the “unreasonable” 600% increase it claims the network’s seeking.

TWC, CBS At Odds Over Retrans Deal

Although neither side is taking shots at each other publicly, there is an undercurrent of tension between Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp. as the two companies attempt to negotiate a new distribution deal. Time Warner Cable’s agreement to carry CBS-owned TV stations, the basic cable channels CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian, and the pay network Showtime expired at the end of June. Since then, there have been a couple of extensions, the latest one running to a few days before the end of the month.


KPSE-LP Pulled From Time Warner Cable

Negotiations failed between Journal Broadcast Group and Time Warner Cable, which means the cable provider will no longer be allowed to carry the Palm Springs, Calif., MNT affiliate. A June 30 deadline was extended to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. But that deadline ran out with no new deal, a Time Warner spokesman said late Wednesday.

CBS, TWC Talk Seen Going For Weeks

Negotiations between CBS and Time Warner Cable to renew their four-year-old pact — covering retransmission of CBS owned-and-operated TV stations and carriage of cable nets including Showtime — are expected to take several more weeks to resolve, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Tribune Deal Lends Firepower To Retrans War

Tribune Co.’s $2.7 billion deal to buy 19 Local TV LLC stations sets the stage for a major battle over the retransmission fees cable and satellite operators pay to carry stations. Tribune CEO Peter Liguori opened a new front yesterday, making it known the company will be gunning for bigger licensing fees for its growing stable of network affiliates.

Media General, Dish Set Retrans Extension

Facing a June 30 deadline, Media General and Dish Network reached an agreement preventing the possible blackout of 17 stations on the satellite operator. The station group has agreed to give Dish a 90-day extension on the retransmission consent agreement scheduled to lapse over the weekend as negotiations continue.

CBS, TWC Pact Expires, Talks Continue

The distribution deal between CBS and Time Warner Cable expired at midnight ET on Sunday, and reps for the two sides said negotiations covering the Eye’s O&Os and cable networks continued past the deadline. No blackouts of CBS-owned networks have been reported on Time Warner Cable systems.

Journal, TWC In Retrans Contract Dispute

WTMJ Milwaukee is among the Journal Broadcast Group stations carried on Time Warner Cable that could remove themselves from the carrier if a contract dispute over retransmission compensation is not settled. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday.


Station Retrans Fees Up, But ESPN Still King

Currently, broadcasters get about $1 per month for each subscriber from the television service providers that carry their stations. Broadcasters may, however, be moving toward parity with other cable channels, which individually earn more in retransmission fees than broadcasters do but not as much as ESPN.

DirecTV, Gannett Retrans Window Closing

DirecTV could lose the right to carry Gannett’s 23 TV stations on Dec. 1 unless the two sides reach a new programming pact by then. The current retransmission consent agreement between the two companies expires at midnight on Friday. Stations affected include several in large cities including Washington, Atlanta and Denver.


NBC’s Retrans Proxy Plan Looking Doubtful

The key sticking points: crafting an agreement that would address the varying needs of all affiliates, small and large, and network negotiators handling details of local retrans deals, including negotiating fees for digital subchannels that carry non-NBC programming. For all that’s going on at NAB 2012, click here.


Cox, RCN Subs Get WJLA Retrans Warning

In a message to the two cable providers’ subscribers, the Allbritton ABC affiliate in Washington says it may be necessary to pull the station if a deal can’t be reached by Jan. 1.


Fox Affils Not Cool With ‘Cooling Off Feed’

The latest wrinkle in the retrans war is that Time Warner Cable systems can pick up Fox primetime and sports programming if they are denied carriage of the local Fox affiliate. It would appear to undermine the retrans efforts of affiliates, but the network maintains that it really wants to help the affiliates by getting TWC to pick up a “cooling off feed” that comprises the entire affiliate signal for a year. Affiliates are skeptical. Some see it as parternalistic meddling. Others simply aren’t sure what Fox’s intentions are and what the Fox-TWC agreement will mean to their future retrans earnings.

Retrans Watchers Focused On FCC Report

Sook: Some Retrans Deals Top $1 Per Sub

As the pioneer in seeking retransmission consent cash from cable systems, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook talked about the future of retrans at  Wells Fargo Securities’ Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.

Senate Commerce Sets Retrans Hearing

As promised, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation officially confirmed today that it will hold hearings on retransmission consent next week, on Nov. 17.