Sinclair, CW Extend Affiliation Agreements

The group owner locks in new five-year deals to carry CW programming on 10 of its stations through August 2016.

Sinclair Joins Tribune In Renewing ‘Friends’

Available for the first time in TrueHD, the series is now sold in more than 50% of the country for its third off-net cycle.

TECH SPOTLIGHT

Syncbak Moving Forward With OTT Platform

CEO Jack Perry says in addition to developing the platform that stations will be able to use to deliver their programming via broadband to interconnected TV sets, tablets and smart phones in their markets, his company is also lining up national programming to supplement whatever programming the participating stations choose to put on the platform. Preliminary testing on stations is slotted for next month, with the goal of a commercial rollout by January’s CES.

SNL KAGAN TV AND RADIO FINANCE SUMMIT

Execs See Solid Year For Broadcast Groups

Panelists say the state of the station groups this year is positive, with Sinclair’s David Amy summing up: “The business isn’t going in the wrong direction. It’s going in the right direction.”

Sinclair Acquires Wrestling’s ‘Ring Of Honor’

The franchise will air on the group’s 22 TV stations beginning in September and will also be streamed on the Internet.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Sinclair Posts 5.4% Gain In 1Q Revenue

Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 7.6% and national net broadcast revenues were up 1.2%. Strong performances came from the automotive, schools, pharmaceuticals, and furniture ad categories.

DMA 47

John Hayes New GM Of WXLV-WMYV

The GM of WTNZ Knoxville, Tenn., is tapped to lead Sinclair’s ABC-MNT duopoly in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, N.C.

NAB 2011

Sinclair Orders P2 HD For 12 News Operations

Sinclair Broadcast Group has selected Panasonic’s P2 HD camcorder for all 12 of its news producing stations. The order comes on the heels of other investments in Panasonic solutions.

DMAS 25 & 69

Sinclair Names New GMs in Raleigh and Flint

John Hummel is tapped to run the Raleigh, N.C., duopoly of WLFL-WRDC. He’s succeeded at WSMH Flint, Mich., by Chad Conklin.

DMA 34

WSYX-WTTE Set To Air Mobile DTV

Two more stations are ready to transmit mobile DTV. Sinclair-operated WSYX (ABC) and WTTE (Fox) Columbus, Ohio, are now outfitted to transmit up to four channels of mobile DTV service.

DMA 47

Inman Out at Sinclair’s Greensboro Duopoly

Ron Inman is no longer the general manager at Sinclair’s duopoly in Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, N.C., confirms an operator at the station, who said he left last week. WXLV is an ABC affiliate and WMYX is an MNT affiliate.

Sinclair, Comcast In Multi-Year Retrans Deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today that it has reached an agreement-in-principle with Comcast Corp. for a multiyear agreement for the continued carriage of 36 stations in 22 markets owned and/or operated by Sinclair or to which Sinclair provides sales services.

CAPEX 2011

Sinclair Wish List: Content Mgt., HD Upgrades

Del Parks, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s engineering VP, has a full plate of projects — and spending— this year at his 58 stations. His company is well along on upgrading operations to HD news and overhauling master controls. At the upcoming NAB Show, he and his team will be looking for content management solutions and he’s very curious about exploring digital fingerprinting technology and ways that broadcasters can deliver content directly to the new generation of Internet-connected TVs.

EARNINGS CALL

Sinclair Upbeat About Its 2011 Prospects

An improving economy has resulted in robust cash flow growth and margins and has led to the group owner considering buying stations again in addition to reinstating quarterly dividends.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Sinclair Posts 23.5% Gain In 4Q Revenue

Local revenue (including retrans) was up 19%, national rose 35%. It is reinstating quarterly dividends beginning in March.

Ryvicker Says She’s A Bull On TV Stocks

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker has officially upgraded the television sector to “overweight” (buy) from “market weight” (neutral). She also upgraded Sinclair Broadcast Group to “outperform” ahead of the company’s 4Q earnings report this morning.

Q&A WITH SINCLAIR'S MARK AITKEN

Aitken: Stations In Regulatory Straitjacket

U.S. TV broadcastersface a competitive situation similar to a prizefighter who’s forced to wear a straitjacket when facing the World Heavy Weight Champion.That’s the view of Mark Aitken, director of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group. On the one hand, they are required by law to transmit DTV using the ATSC A/53 standard, and on the other, they are being pushed into a knockdown, drag-out battle with wireless providers that covet their spectrum and are being cheered on by the FCC.

RETRANS WARS

Sinclair, TWC Reach Retrans Deal

The new agreement covers 28 stations in 17 markets. In addition, TWC will produce three half-hour local news program, Monday through Friday, on Sinclair’s ABC affiliate, WXLV Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C., beginning in January 2012.

Sinclair Expands Rentrak Contract

The station group will now use Rentrak’s TV database currency measurement system at 21 stations in 12 markets.

RETRANS WARS

Sinclair, Bright House Sign Retrans Deal

The new multi-year retransmission consent agreement covers WTTA Tampa, Fla.; WEAR and WFGX Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla.; WTWC Tallahassee, Fla.; and WABM and WTTO Birmingham, Ala.

RETRANS WARS

TWC, Sinclair Come To Retrans Deal

Time Warner Cable reached an agreement in principle with Sinclair Broadcasting Saturday evening for continued carriage of its 28 TV stations in TWC markets, and said it expects to work toward a final agreement in the next seven days. “We’re pleased to reach an agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting without any interruption in service for our customers,” said Rob Marcus, TWC president-COO.

RETRANS WARS

TWC, Sinclair Extend Retrans Talks A Day

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.”

Sinclair Extends Fox Affiliations

The group owner extends contracts with the network through 2012.

RETRANS WARS

TWC, Sinclair Extend Retrans Negotiations

Time Warner Cable announced Friday evening that it reached an extension with Sinclair Broadcasting “that will allow our customers to continue to receive all Sinclair Broadcasting stations uninterrupted through Jan. 14 and allow us to continue negotiating to reach a long-term agreement. We thank our customers for their patience and support throughout these negotiations.”

RETRANS WARS

TWC To Replace Sinclair Signals If Talks Fail

Time Warner Cable says it is continuing to negotiate a new retrans deal, but if talks are unsuccessful by the Dec. 31 deadline and Sinclair pulls its stations, the cable operator will offer programming from the Big 4 networks.

RETRANS WARS–UPDATED

Sinclair To Pull Stations From TWC Systems

The group owner says talks have broken down after Time Warner Cable turned down a retrans fee of 10 cents per sub and didn’t make a counter offer. TWC says that’s not true and that it remains “open and willing to negotiate a reasonable agreement for our customers and have no intention of declaring negotiations to be at an end even in the event that Sinclair decides to pull their signals from Time Warner Cable on Dec. 31.”

Sinclair, Mediacom Reach Retrans Deal

The new two-year retransmission consent agreement between the broadcaster and the cable operator covers 22 stations in 16 markets.

JESSELL AT LARGE

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 WARS

TWC, Sinclair Wrangle Over Retrans

With the fate of millions of Time Warner Cable’s TV subscribers in the balance, the Sinclair station group said TWC has nixed a proposal to settle the parties’ differences through binding arbitration. The two are negotiating how much TWC will pay Sinclair to carry stations covering the slew of TWC customers.

RETRANS WARS

Retrans Scuffle Shows Positive Signs

The looming retransmission consent battle between Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast Group appears to be showing signs of positive movement, with both sides raising the possibility of arbitration to settle the dispute.

Fox Clause Focal Point Of TWC-Sinclair Fight

When News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting struck a big deal with Time Warner Cable last January for distribution rights to its Fox TV stations, it also included an interesting clause that may give some Fox affiliates headaches.

DMA 21

KDNL To Get News From KSDK

Beginning Jan. 3, Gannett’s St. Louis NBC affiliate, KSDK, will produce nightly half-hour newscasts at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. for ABC affil KDNL, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. KDNL aired its last local newscast in October 2001. Additional content to be produced by KSDK also will air on weekends on KDNL.

DMA 15

Sinclair Names Waterman GM Of WUCW

The former GM of Tribune’s New Orleans duopoly is moving to Minneapolis to head Sinclair’s CW affil.

The Country Network Adds 12 Markets

The Country Network (TCN), a country music video television network in Nashville, has begun broadcasting in 12 additional markets. This follows last month’s launch of the network in 10 markets. As were those stations, these are also all owned and/or operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The 12 markets are: Market                                 Station                                                 Channel […]

Sinclair chooses Vertigo for WBFF Baltimore subchannel

Sinclair Broadcast Group has purchased VertigoXmedia’s Xstation, “channel-in-a-box” solution to launch a new DTV subchannel at WBFF Baltimore. In addition, Sinclair will implement similar Xstation-driven subchannels later at its other stations to maximize revenues from surplus bandwidth in the DTV spectrum. VertigoXmedia is a Montreal-based provider of broadcast graphics software and hardware. “Our goal is […]