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Time Warner Cable, LIN TV Reach Deal to Avert Broadcast Blackout

Retrans deal will keep 24 local TV stations on TWC and Bright House cable systems in 14 markets

As their previous deal expired Friday, Time Warner Cable and LIN Television announced that they reached an agreement on retransmission-consent fees to keep 24 local TV stations on TWC and Bright House Networks systems in 14 markets.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LIN last week alerted viewers about the standoff, warning that its stations could be taken off Time Warner Cable and Bright House systems if the two sides failed to reach a new agreement by May 31 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Bright House was affected in the dispute because it has an arrangement with Time Warner Cable that lets it piggyback on the larger operator’s programming deals.

In a statement, Time Warner Cable said,“Time Warner Cable has reached an agreement with LIN Media for continued carriage of their broadcast stations. Time Warner Cable customers can continue to view the programming of LIN Media’s stations without interruption.”

LIN said, “We are pleased to report that an agreement has been reached with Time Warner Cable. As a result, Time Warner Cable subscribers may continue to watch our local news and programming without disruption. This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to our viewers.”

According to Time Warner Cable, the broadcaster had been seeking an increase of more than 50% in retrans fees. LIN had countered that the rates it was asking for “are reasonable and less than what Time Warner pays for many of its cable networks with far lower ratings.”

The LIN stations covered under the pact are located in Birmingham, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; Savannah, Ga.; Honolulu; Terre Haute, Ind.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Indianapolis; Springfield, Mass.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Dayton, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Austin, Texas; Norfolk, Va.; and Green Bay, Wisc.

In a previous dispute in the fall of 2008, LIN’s TV stations went dark on Time Warner Cable lineups for 25 days. Nationwide, LIN operates or services 43 TV stations in 23 U.S. markets.

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