Cable Operators

Sinclair Pulls Fox HD Signals from Comcast

3/01/2005 4:48 AM Eastern

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has pulled the plug on Fox Broadcasting Co. HDTV signals it was permitting Comcast Corp. to carry in six markets as part of a temporary deal.

In early February, Sinclair officials told Wall Street analysts they were finalizing an agreement in principle for Comcast to continue carrying the digital HDTV signals for its Fox affiliate TV stations.

Under the temporary pact that had been in place, the MSO was able to offer Super Bowl XXXIX in HDTV in Baltimore; Pittsburgh; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Charleston, N.C.; and Paducah, Ky.

But a Comcast spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Sinclair “demanded” that it remove the broadcaster’s HDTV signals last week. The MSO is still seeking to nail down a permanent carriage deal for those HDTV signals with Sinclair.

On a letter to viewers on its Web site (www.sbgi.net/misc/comcast_digital.pdf), Sinclair said it wants cash -- “no more than 50 cents per subscriber” -- for its digital HDTV signals.

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