Time Warner Cable Reaches Pact with TV Station Group to End 58-Day Blackout

Deal with Journal Broadcast Group covers stations in five markets

Time Warner Cable and Journal Broadcast Group have reached deal to end a 58-day blackout of TV stations in four markets — one of the longest standoffs in the industry.

Terms of the multiyear TV carriage deal between TW Cable and Journal Broadcast were not disclosed. The blackout affected Time Warner Cable customers in Milwaukee, Wis., Green Bay/Appleton, Wis., Omaha, Neb., and Palm Springs, Calif.

Journal Broadcast Group said it “retains control of ‘TV Everywhere’ rights for live network program streaming to smartphones, tablets and computers.” TW Cable said it wasn’t seeking those rights from the broadcaster.

In a higher-profile fight with CBS, TW Cable wanted digital rights to the Eye’s TV programming. But CBS refused to include those as part of the retransmission-consent agreement with the MSO, looking to retain lucrative second-window pacts with online distributors like Netflix and Amazon. CBS and Time Warner Cable reached a deal Sept. 2 after a monthlong blackout affecting cable viewers in New York, L.A., Dallas and other markets.

In a statement, Time Warner Cable senior VP of content acquisition Andrew Rosenberg said: “As in all of our negotiations, we aim to hold down programming costs and retain our ability to deliver a great video experience for our customers. We are glad that we were able to achieve both.”

The affected Journal Broadcast stations, scheduled to return to Time Warner Cable lineups later Friday, are WTMJ (NBC) in Milwaukee; WGBA (NBC) and WACY (MyNetwork TV) in Green Bay/Appleton; KMTV (CBS) in Omaha, Neb.; and KMIR (NBC) and KPSE (MyNetwork TV) in Palm Springs, Calif.

TW Cable pulled WACY and KPSE on July 10 — 73 days ago — when the companies could not reach an agreement. FCC rules prevented the operator from removing the four others during the sweeps ratings period; the MSO removed those from local lineups July 25.

The pact between the two companies will run through at least 2016, as Journal Broadcast noted the next two Olympic games on NBC will be available under the deal.

“We’re very happy that all our viewers and customers can again receive our award-winning local newscasts, network programming and community service initiatives,” Andre Fernandez, president and CFO of Journal Communications, said in a statement.

Another Journal Broadcast station in a TW Cable market, CBS affiliate WTVF in Nashville, Tenn., was not affected by the blackout as it was operating under a separate contract. The cable operator’s continued carriage of WTVF was included as part of the new agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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  1. carol Kramer says:

    I am glad that the agreement was made however, we do not get MeTV back. That was a great channel and it reached many baby boomer TV watchers. The shows from the 50’s and 60’s had some wonderful moral lessons
    and taught many life skill values that are missing in some societies today. MeTV should also be restored to continue to promote these great shows!

  2. j. Slack says:

    I missed it. I enjoy the programming on NBC channel 7…however even though you say it is settled TWC I stillhave it blacked out so when will it come back on???? I am in the process of changing Providers or reducing my monthly payment. The five dollar coupon for Amazon was laughable as was the increase in the rent for a modem.

  3. Dale Arenz says:

    We still don’t have channel 4, when does it come back on?

  4. I’m a viewer in the GB market. I really could have cared less if this was settled, and do not know anyone else that did either. Whereas a few years ago, there was a big outcry over a similar situation with the local Fox affiliate.
    I went and checked, and there was not one NBC program that I normally watched and it did not look like they had anything in their fall lineup I was looking forward to either.

    the Packers pre-season games were missed, but not really a big deal.
    The only thing I, or most people care about is the 3 regular season Packer games on NBC later in the season. If the station was still off then, I just would have made other plans. Like go to a bar, watch online, or finally figure out my smart tv.

    • RPM says:

      Well, if you had internet through TWC then none of your work-around solutions would not work, as the blackout affected use of cbs.com nation-wide!!!

      Also, MOST people do not watch games at all, and watch Big Brother instead. That is majority, you sports fans are a top dog as well, but not MOST people. I personally don’t care about either of them, and I watch all my TV online.

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