Ryan Seacrest, Retrans Poster Boy

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Is Ryan Seacrest more of a cable guy — or a broadcast guy?

Fox is featuring Seacrest prominently as part of waging its cash-for-retrans war with Time Warner Cable. There’s Seacrest, smiling gamely as the clean-cut host of American Idol in a banner atop KeepFoxOn.com, the site News Corp. set up to dispute TWC’s claims. Idol, of course, is the indomitable (but declining) primetime franchise that airs on Fox; the 9th season premieres Jan. 12.

“On Friday, January 1, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks may no longer carry the FOX programming you love… that means NO American Idol, NFL on FOX, BCS coverage and more!” warns KeepFoxOn.com.

But Seacrest’s loyalties may be torn. After all, his production company — whose shows include Keeping Up with the Kardashians and E!’s Live from the Red Carpet – has a major multiyear agreement with Comcast Entertainment Group.

On the other hand, Seacrest has a deal worth $45 million through 2012 with Idol. And, oh yeah, Comcast is becoming a broadcaster with its bid to own most of NBC.

Ultimately, Seacrest is probably just wishing — like an estimated 3.9 million TWC subscribers — that Fox doesn’t actually go dark on New Year’s Eve… despite the fact that he’ll be hosting ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve at the time.

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