Disney and Time Warner Cable execs worked down to the wire on Wednesday in Gotham to hammer out a carriage agreement in advance of the 12:01 a.m. Thursday contract expiration covering four ABC O&Os, ESPN, Disney Channel and other Mouse cablers.
The two sides had been battling publicly over the prospect of Disney channels being yanked from Time Warner Cable systems if a new deal could not be reached. But in recent days both sides have tamped down the rhetoric, and both have said that progress is being made at the negotiating table. It appeared late Wednesday that Disney and Time Warner Cable would cut a temporary extension if a final agreement could not be reached by the midnight ET deadline.
Although the negotiations involve multiple channels, a key issue for the Mouse is squeezing significant retransmission consent coin from Time Warner for the four ABC O&Os including WABC New York and KABC Los Angeles. Disney is believed to be seeking north of 50¢ per subscriber per month for each station.
Reps for both sides declined comment late Wednesday.