Cable One subscribers in Fargo, N.D., could lose ABC and The CW unless a contract agreement is reached by the end of the month. Scott Geston, GM of Cable One in Fargo-Moorhead, said the provider has been in negotiations with station owner Forum Communications Co. for several weeks for the continued right to offer ABC affiliat WDAY, which also airs The CW on a subchannel.
After losing its affiliation in Indianapolis, the station group reups in Birmingham, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Providence, R.I.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Mason City, Iowa; Portland, Ore.; Youngstown, Ohio; and Lafayette, Ind.
Two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from negotiating retrans deals altogether.
Cox Communications and LIN Media announced a new retransmission agreement Friday for WTNH and MyTV9 , just minutes before a 5 p.m. deadline imposed by the Providence-base broadcast television company. LIN Media had threatened to pull its programming from Cox’s three Connecticut cable systems if a new retransmission agreement had not been reached.
The broadcaster has begun to warn more than 1.5 million viewers in 14 markets that its stations could disappear from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network systems at the end of next week unless the companies reach a new retransmission consent agreement. Stations at risk include LIN TV’s NBC, CW, and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Austin, Texas; CBS and CW stations in Buffalo, N.Y.; NBC and CW outlets in Dayton, Ohio; and Fox and CW stations in Green Bay, Wis.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has begun to warn DirecTV customers that its 87 stations in 47 markets may go dark on the No. 1 satellite broadcaster after Feb. 28 when their carriage contract expires. “Although DirecTV and Sinclair have been negotiating for quite some time in an effort to reach a new agreement, at this time it does not appear that these efforts will be successful,” Sinclair’s telling viewers in Baltimore.
The cable trade group says evidence demonstrates broadcasters’ anticompetitive conduct reduces competition in local markets.
AMC Networks said Monday that it has temporarily extended a carriage deal with Time Warner Cable as the two sides negotiate a renewal of the contract that expired at midnight on Dec. 31.
Station group owner Sinclair Broadcast Group is giving some fair warning about upcoming carriage negotiations with satellite TV provider Dish Network: Things are not going so well. Sinclair’s retrans deal with Dish is due to expire on Aug. 15.
Teh broadcaster and the trade association say the cable MSO is dragging its heels on retransmission consent negotiations on purpose, in hopes that Congress will get involved.
The retransmission consent debate is, if possible, heating up to new levels. With Time Warner Cable and the NAB squaring off in public over the company’s fourth quarter results, analysts now are predicting that the regulatory issue may become too hot to handle. Case in point is Wells Fargo Securities’ Bishop Cheen and Davis Hebert who say that during the next few years, retransmission negotiations will be more “brutal” than the industry has ever seen.
The Newport-owned ABC affiliate is telling viewers that view the station via Verizon’s FiOS service that they may not receive the channel after Thursday.The two companies are in the midst of retransmission consent contract negotiations. The current contract expires Thursday.
Dispatch Broadcast Group’s CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, announced an extension to its contract negotiations with Time Warner Cable. The extension came just hours before the stations were scheduled to leave Time Warner’s channel lineup at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night. The extension expires at 11:59 p.m. tonight.
The Meredith CBS affiliate in Phoenix says it’s been unable to reach a retransmission consent contract with the MSO and expects its signal will be dropped after Dec. 31.
As many as many as 80% of all retransmission consent contracts were up for renewal by Dec. 31. Most have been ironed out, but there are still some holdouts. And while year-end scrambling is nothing new, this year is different. Rates by stations have increased due, in part, to the broadcast networks’ growing demands for reverse compensation. And some pay TV providers are taking hard lines and asserting their willingness to go without broadcast signals.
WAGM Presque Isle, Maine, said Tuesday that Time Warner customers are in danger of losing CBS and Fox programming as of Jan. 1, 2012, unless the two companies can reach an agreement before the deadline on December 31 at midnight.
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.
Local TV LLC’s KFOR (NBC) Oklahoma City says it is at an impasse with MSO Cable One over retransmission consent and may disappear from the MSO’s systems in the Ada, Okla., area as of New Year’s Day.
Sinclair Broadcasting Group, owner of WPGH (Fox) and WPMY (MNT), whose contract for carriage with Verizon’s FiOS expires on Dec. 31, says “based on the current status of negotiations we do not believe they will be carrying this stations after that date.”
Sarkes Tarzian-owned WRCB Chattanooga, Tenn., cut its requested increase in the carrying fee for the Dish Network by more than half this week, but the NBC affiliate still hasn’t reached an agreement with the satellite provider as Dish subscribers enter their third week of a WRCB blackout.
LIN Fox affiliate WALA and CW affil WFNA Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., are displaying a ticker message directed at local cable TV customers of Mediacom, saying the stations’ retransmission consent contract with the cable provider is set to expire on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m. and if the companies don’t have a new retransmission deal by then, Mediacom will be required to drop the two signals.
Journal Broadcast Group, which owns 13 television stations, has a retransmission-consent agreement for its stations with Dish Network that expires on April 28, Journal Communications Inc. CEO Steve Smith told analysts Tuesday. Journal has a plan to communicate to its viewers information on the Dish Network talks “as well as alternatives,” Smith said.
In an interview Tuesday at the NAB Show, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves took issue with the value of USA Network, warned the government to stay out of his business, and said he is worried about technology cannibalizing his core business.
Time Warner Cable announced Friday afternoon that it and Sinclair Broadcasting have agreed to extend their retransmission consent negotiations — set to expire tonight at 11:59 — until 11:59 pm on Saturday, Jan. 15. “Negotiations are ongoing with Sinclair, and we’re still working hard to reach an agreement,” a TWC statement said. “We are still hoping to avoid a broadcaster blackout, but even if Sinclair pulls the plug on Saturday night, Time Warner Cable will continue to provide all available Big 4 network programming to its customers. There is no need for customers to switch, they’ll still have access to all of their favorite network programming.”