Time Warner Cable Faces Broadcast Blackout in 14 Markets

Time Warner Cable Blackout

Cable operator says LIN TV is seeking 50% hike in retrans fees, as current pact expires May 31

LIN Television is looking to extract more coin from Time Warner Cable, telling viewers its local broadcast stations in 14 markets will be pulled from TWC and Bright House Networks if the companies cannot reach a retransmission-consent deal by next Friday, May 31.

According to Time Warner Cable, the broadcaster is seeking an increase of more than 50% in retrans fees. LIN didn’t specify what what rate increase it is asking for.

“LIN is demanding a more than 50% increase — after receiving a colossal increase just two years ago — to continue carrying the same programming that they deliver over the air for free,” Time Warner Cable spokesman Jon Gary Herrera said. “We continue to take a stand against unreasonable fee increases by local broadcast TV stations.” Herrera confirmed TWC is continuing discussions with LIN.

In response, a LIN spokeswoman said, “The rates we are asking for are reasonable and less than what Time Warner pays for many of its cable networks with far lower ratings.”

LIN’s current agreements with Time Warner Cable and Bright House — which has an arrangement with the larger MSO that lets it piggyback on programming deals — expire May 31 at 5 p.m. ET.

“We are working hard to reach a new agreement with Time Warner/Bright House Networks,” LIN said in a statement. “However, we feel it is our duty to keep our viewers informed when a contract deadline approaches and a new agreement has not yet been reached. If we do not reach an agreement, by law, Time Warner/Bright House Networks cannot carry our signal on its cable systems.”

LIN noted that if its TV stations go dark on the two cable operators, viewers can continue to access local TV via over-the-air via antenna or by switching to an alternative pay-TV provider such as AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, DirecTV or Dish Network.

The broadcaster, which has a history of contentious retrans negotiations with pay TV operators, said that Time Warner Cable “has yet to recognize the fair value of our programming.” TWC, meanwhile, has been involved in at least three public retrans fights over the past 12 months.

In a previous dispute in the fall of 2008, LIN’s TV stations went dark on Time Warner Cable lineups for 25 days.

For Time Warner Cable, the current impasse threatens to black out 24 TV stations in the 14 markets: Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT – CBS); Mobile, Ala. (WALA – Fox and WFNA – CW); Savannah, Ga. (WJCL – ABC); Honolulu (KHON – Fox and CW); Terre Haute, Ind. (WTHI – CBS); Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE – CBS); Indianapolis (WISH – CBS and WNDY – MyNetworkTV); Springfield, Mass. (WWLP – NBC and WFXQ – NBC); Buffalo, N.Y. (WIVB – CBS and WNLO – CW); Dayton, Ohio (WDTN – NBC and WBDT – CW); Youngstown, Ohio (WKBN – CBS and WYFX – Fox); Austin, Texas (KXAN – NBC, KNVA – CW and KBVO – MyNetworkTV); Norfolk, Va. (WAVY – NBC and WVBT – Fox); and Green Bay, Wisc. (WLUK – Fox and WCWF – CW).

Nationwide, LIN operates or services 43 TV stations in 23 U.S. markets. The company’s retrans revenue and growth in digital businesses is offsetting declines in advertising, LIN topper Vincent Sadusky said in announcing first-quarter results this month.

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  1. LeeAnn says:

    PLEASE DO NOT TAKE AWAY THESE STATIONS! They are Pretty much All the channels I watch! Have cable, which I Already pay $90 a month for. Don’t Think its Fair @ all! Will have to switch Cable companies & you will Lose my Business as well as many more people!

  2. Matt L says:

    First of all the Youngstown area also gets Cleveland Local stations, so no programming would be lost (besides the news). As for local news, the two stations that would be lost are literally the same broadcast with different people reading the same script with the same footage. Why should TWC pay for that? Severe weather you say! You know the emergency ‘ticker’ is on every channel right? I have complained multiple times to 27 and 33 about the graphic footage of animal mutilations they show routinely; and considering they continue to do this without hesitation, I say good day and good riddance.

  3. Suzanne Moamis says:

    we watch the youngstown channels every day,please don’t take those channels off there very important to us to keep for favorite shows and weather .

  4. N torrey says:

    This is getting ridiculously outof hand. Basic television used to be free. It should be offered as radio is offered….

  5. Irene Shields says:

    We watch the Youngstown stations all the time,if you drop them we wont get our weather and our favorite shows.Cleveland weather is not the same as Youngstown and that could be dangerous,if we had sever weather. Please keep these stations

  6. AHART says:

    IF YOU TAKE WKBN,WYTV OUT OF THE MIX YOU LEAVE US WITH ONE STATION FOR EMERGENCY INSTRUCTION. DANGEROUS AND I THOUGHT THERE WERE LAWS ABOUT THIS..

  7. marcia maley says:

    I watch cw 14 EVERYDAY!!! Please do not let us loose this station…On top of that,we all pay for these stations and if I continue to loose services I would expect a reduction on my bill or I will be forced to switch my choice of service provider to a company that can provide them!

  8. Please keep them on KHON,CW, and all the restof their stations and programming are greatly needed and appreciated. I too hope that these negotitiations CAN BE RESOLVED. Keep them on PLEASE!!!! SINCERELY SHAILEE COUCH of Honolulu Hawaii….

  9. Please, do not drop WKBN channels from our TWC choices! I watch them every day!!!!!

  10. TWC shouldn’t give in to extortionist practice. Everyone will lose in the end. Oh well, life goes on.

  11. Mary Willocks says:

    This is one of my favorite channels I watch on a daily basis. I hope this issue can be resolved.

  12. Helen Carroll says:

    I have watched these channels since moving to Honolulu in 1988. FOX News begins and ends each day. DONOT take these channels away from the viewers. Living in a Condo gives me no choice than to use TWC provided as a part of my monthly maint fee PROVIDE SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, STOP THE GREID & POWER TRIPS.

  13. Joyce Gray says:

    We are faithful viewers of NBC programs. Please don’t let Time Warner Cable drop the network shows we pay to enjoy. Thank you!

  14. Ann Nevers says:

    This is not fair to the viewers who are paying for these channels. This is an argument between NBC and Time warner. I called Time Warner and they said that the issue is with NBC

  15. jamesjimcie says:

    I would rather see LIN Media and LIN Television used the money from the increase of retransmission fees to buy up various station from Local TV LLC and Allbritton. LIN could buy WSET and WCIV from Allbritton and KDVR and turned into a CW station with KWGN getting FOX, WDAF, KTVI and turned into a ABC station with KPLR getting FOX and KDNL getting CW, WITI with the option of also acquiring WIWN from Pappas if they would want to fully sale the station in the future, WJW, WHNT, and WGHP and turned into a ABC station with WXLV getting FOX from Local TV LLC while Meredith could buy KWGN and KPLR if Tribune would ever sale various stations to help pay off it’s debt from their 2008 bankruptcy.

    The affected TV viewers with Time Warner Cable could try the DTV Green dish antenna system to pick up the affected stations that are owned and maintained by Vincent Sadusky and LIN Media and LIN Television:
    http://www.dtvgreendish.com/

    • marcia maley says:

      When time warner lost the program guide channel 62 they said it was not their fault and that it was out of their hands…I later discoverd that time warner OWNS that also!! Do not believe everything they tell you!! They can stop this cancelation and if they dont, they deserve to loose their cash cow to another service provider that cares about their customers!!

  16. Brenda boelk says:

    I’m sorry I want those stations. I think twc is being greedy. They are going to let these stations go,since they don’t want to lose any money. They are already ripping us off with their astronomical prices. Bite the bullet TWC and do something for your customers for once, instead of worrying about the all mighty bitten dollar

    • marcia maley says:

      HERE ! HERE! Time Warner has become VERY GREEDY !! Their customer service has become ca-ca.They no longer want to do anything for you without a charge and yet my bill keeps G R O W I N G !!!Now we lose yet more programing and our bill wont go down…..no sir, you can bet it will continue to raise despite the loss of progaming AND customer service! What a RACKET!!

    • Brenda boelk says:

      Bottom dollar

  17. Susan Shirley says:

    So why doesn’t this ever happen concerning one of those channels that nobody ever watches? Like all the religious stuff or the government stuff or any of the myriad others that we pay for and NEVER watch! This is a main channel, a mainstay for heavens sake. What’s next? ABC? NBC? It’s all such a bunch of total crap! Is my bill going to be reduced as the result of this? I think not. It’s greed. Nothing but greed.

  18. John McGlynn says:

    Wait a second here… these are regular BROADCAST channels (as evidenced by their call signs)? Seems to me their getting a real deal already… not only do they get their commercially paid-for signal transmitted into many more households, but they get paid a retransmission fee on top of that? I’d like to see how well they do if they only reached customers with antennas. I’m no fan of TWC (or pay TV in general) these days, but it seems to me the networks are being greedy.

  19. Michael Bartholomew says:

    Gone are the days of free TV, everything is now set up to be packaged with a group of networks you do not want so the cable companies can charge more for their packages. The big 4 networks plus CW are supposed to derive their funds from advertising, not customers (whom the advertisers are targeting). If I want to be able to watch certain programming I should be allowed to do it via an ala carte way of doing business not having preprogrammed packages rammed down our throats.

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