Smith Media’s KEYT, the ABC affiliate for Santa Barbara, Calif., has won an FCC ruling that Time Warner must carry its HD signal on systems where TWC has only been carrying the station’s analog signal.
News-Press & Gazette has agreed to purchase the ABC affiliate from Smith Media for an undisclosed amount.
While the just-announced FCC review of its retransmission consent rules doesn’t include commission intervention when talks fail, there are some things broadcasters need to be wary of. Most important is the proposal to eliminate the non-dupe rule. Without it, cable systems would be able to import an affiliate from a another market to replace one that it loses in a retrans dispute with impunity.
Utica Mayor David Roefaro says constituents call his office daily, upset and confused by the substitution of news out of Pennsylvania for their local news. He says that Time Warner’s franchise agreement with the city is up, and that renewal of the agreement is not a given. “Unless I can assure my residents that they will receive their local news and not Pennsylvania’s, I’m going to be in contact with other signal providers,” says the mayor.
The broadcaster joins Nexstar in asking the commission to forbid Time Warner Cable from using United’s Fox affiliate WNYF-CA Watertown, N.Y. as substitute network programming in the cable operator’s retransmission consent battle with Smith Media in Burlington, Vt.-Plattaburgh, N.Y.
The broadcaster wants the commission to forbid Time Warner Cable from using its stations as substitute network programming in the cable operator’s retransmission consent battle with Smith Media.
After its retrans talks with Smith Media collapsed last night, Time Warner Cable was forced to drop Smith’s NBC affiliate in Utica, N.Y., and its ABC and Fox affiliates in Burlington, Vt. But rather than go without those signals, TWC substituted affiliates of those same networks from other markets.