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Time Warner Cable ups Alphabet retrans battle

ABC to be yanked in major stations

Time Warner Cable has stepped up its retransmission consent battle with ABC, taking out full-page ads in a number of major newspapers this week.

The ads urge Disney to grant an eight-month extension that would keep its ABC-owned stations on Time Warner systems through the end of the year.

As of now, ABC stations are set to be yanked from Time Warner Cable systems in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Raleigh/Durham, N.C., at midnight on May 1 unless the two sides come to a new retransmission consent agreement or issue another deadline extension.

The battle between ABC and Time Warner has waged for months, and Disney has already granted four extensions. Time Warner Cable spokesman Mike Luftman said the cabler hasn’t heard back from Disney regarding the eight-month proposal.

“They, at this point, seem to be ignoring it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hearst-Argyle has granted Time Warner Cable a 60-day extension to keep its stations on the company’s cable systems.

Stations in markets such as Cincinnati, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Honolulu were slated to be dropped from Time Warner systems on May 1. The two sides continue to negotiate retransmission consent, which has been tied to a new carriage agreement for Lifetime.

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