News

Disney Pushes Back Deadline

4/02/2000 8:00 PM Eastern

After facing a deadline last Friday, which was pushed back, The Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Cable now have another 30 days to try to work out a retransmission-consent agreement.

Late last week, Disney granted Time Warner a 30-day extension, which will expire at 12:01 a.m. May 1.

Without such an extension, Disney was slated to pull the signals for its TV stations in seven markets effective 12:01 a.m. this past Saturday (April 1). The DMAs involved include New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Raleigh. N.C., reaching 3.5 million subscribers.

Disney and Time Warner have a negotiating session slated for this week, officials for both sides said.

Since the start of the year, when Disney' s retransmission-consent deal with Time Warner expired, Disney has granted the MSO several interim extensions, with last week' s being the latest one, as they tried to negotiate a new deal.

Time Warner also received a 30-day retransmission-consent extension last week from Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. The MSO' s prior extension with Hearst-Argyle had only been until 12:01 a.m. this past Sunday (April 2).

In exchange for retransmission consent, Disney is seeking carriage for its SoapNet and Toon Disney channels, as well as asking Time Warner to move Disney Channel from a premium service to expanded basic. The huge MSO has balked at the license fee Disney is seeking for Disney Channel.

In turn, Disney has expressed concern-and is lobbying locally and in Washington, D.C.-about the impact of America Online Inc.' s acquisition of Time Warner Inc.

Disney wants assurances that that its content will get fair treatment on the AOL-Time Warner pipeline, and that Time Warner' s cable networks won' t get preferential treatment. isney wants assurances that that its content will get fair treatment on the AOL-Time Warner pipeline, and that Time Warner' s cable networks won' t get preferential treatment.

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