Time Warner Cable-Sinclair deal avoids TV blackout

Jan 16, 2011 By JONATHAN FAHEY , AP Business Writer
FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2007 file photo, people walk by the Time Warner building in New York. After weeks in limbo, about 4 million of Time Warner Cable's customers will no longer have to worry about losing one of their network TV stations. Just hours before a midnight deadline, the company announced Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 it has reached a deal in principle with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. over the fees it pays to carry Sinclair broadcast signals, including those from local affiliates of Fox, ABC and CBS. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff, file)

(AP) -- After weeks in limbo, about 4 million of Time Warner Cable's customers will no longer have to worry about losing one of their network TV stations.

Just hours before a midnight deadline, the company announced Saturday it has reached a deal in principle with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. over the fees it pays to carry Sinclair broadcast signals, including those from local affiliates of Fox, ABC and CBS.

said it expects to complete a final deal within seven days.

Without a deal, Time Warner would have had to drop Sinclair's stations from its channel lineups, though subscribers might not have noticed the difference. Time Warner says it would have replaced signals from Sinclair with feeds from nearby stations in other cities.

Viewers would still have seen football games and shows such as "Glee" and "Desperate Housewives." But the local news would have come from an out-of-town station.

The two sides had extended the agreement for two weeks before the initial expiration on New Year's Day. On Friday, they announced a 24-hour extension to midnight Saturday.

Time Warner declined to comment further on the negotiations. Sinclair could not be reached for comment.

Major stations that would have been affected include the Fox stations in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., and San Antonio, Texas, the CBS station in Portland, Maine, and the ABC station in Greensboro, N.C.

ABC and Fox stations would have been affected in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. No NBC stations would have been affected.

Separately, Sinclair and regional Bright House Networks said Friday they had reached a tentative agreement on fees, and they extended negotiations until next Friday to work out details. Those talks cover stations reaching about 1 million Bright House customers, including ones in Florida.

Disputes over broadcast fees have flared increasingly in recent years as station owners have sought higher fees from cable TV providers. Traditionally, broadcasters relied on advertising to pay their bills. But with competition for ad dollars rising, they have sought a second source of revenue.

Explore further: Making smartphone browsing 20% faster while reducing power consumption by 40%

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Time Warner Cable customers may lose TV networks

Dec 28, 2010

(AP) -- Time Warner Cable Inc. customers from Portland, Maine, to Pensacola, Fla., could lose access to one of their network TV stations because of a contract dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Hearst, DirecTV reach deal on programming fees

Dec 31, 2010

(AP) -- DirecTV satellite subscribers around the country will continue to receive network TV stations owned by Hearst Corp. after the two companies reached a new deal over the fees that DirecTV pays the broadcasting company ...

Time Warner Cable says Big 4 shows to stay on-air

Dec 31, 2010

(AP) -- Time Warner Cable Inc. said Thursday that its customers will still be able to view major programming from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox even if it can't reach a deal with broadcaster Sinclair before their contract expires ...

Mediacom, Sinclair averts TV blackout in 11 states

Jan 07, 2010

(AP) -- Sinclair Broadcasting Group's television stations will remain on the lineups of Mediacom Communications Corp.'s cable TV systems after the two companies announced a new fee agreement Thursday to avert a blackout.

Time Warner Cable asks help on rising program fees

Nov 25, 2009

(AP) -- Time Warner Cable Inc. is asking the public for help as it tries to curtail increases in the programming fees it has to pay to carry cable channels and broadcast stations on its systems.

Recommended for you

Is sending shoppers ads by Bluetooth just a bit creepy?

Oct 17, 2014

Using Bluetooth wireless networking to send information to nearby smartphones, beacon technology could transform how retailers engage with their customers. But customers will notice how their information is ...

User comments : 0