Charter, Three Belo Stations Reach Tentative Retrans Accords


Charter Communications has evidently staved off retransmission-consent deadline battles with a trio of Belo TV stations. As such, there are no plans for a discontinuance of service on Dec. 31.

Charter has reached tentative accords with Belo Corp.’s KMOV-TV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis and the company’s WVEC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Norfolk, Va., according to message on the station’s Web sites. Similarly, the operator has reached a tentative agreement with Belo’s WCNC–TV-DT, an NBC affiliate serving the Charlotte, N.C. DMA.

It was unclear at press time, if Charter had come to an agreement with Belo’s St. WFAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Early last week, the Belo stations had notified customers via their Web sites that their signals may go dark on Charter systems in the aforementioned markets.

The disputes centered on cash compensation. KMOV, in a newscast Dec. 19, indicated that it was asking for 1 cent per Charter cable subscriber per day, which would total about $1.6 million a year, The St. Louis Dispatch reported. On its Web site, WFAA also claimed it is asking for “about a penny a day per subscriber.”

Belo, via an e-mail message Sunday morning, issued no comment, but indicated it might have an update on Dec. 29.

Charter didn’t immediately respond to queries.

On its Web site, KMOV  promulgated word of the resolution right underneath the fold. Users clicking on this area were pushed to the following statement:

“KMOV's parent company Belo Corp. has reached a tentative agreement with Charter Communications regarding carrying KMOV's signal on their cable systems. That means that KMOV and CBS programming should continue to be carried on Charter without any interruption of service well into the future. KMOV and Charter both appreciate your patience through this period of negotiation.”

Similar messages were found on the Web sites for WVEC and WCNC.