Comcast, Fisher Reach Retransmission-Consent Pact


Comcast and Pacific Northwest broadcaster Fisher Communications have reached a tentative new retransmission-consent deal, officials said Wednesday.

“Fisher Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement in principle for continued carriage of Fisher’s television stations on Comcast systems,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

Comcast and Seattle-based Fisher didn’t offer any details about the deal, but it covers the broadcaster's largest stations: KOMO-TV in Seattle; KATU-TV in Portland, Ore.; and KVAL-TV in Eugene, Ore. The agreement doesn't cover Fisher's Univision statons, only its English-language stations, a Fisher spokesman said.

Fisher remains in a retransmission-consent dispute with Dish Network, which dropped nine of its stations Dec. 18 after their old deal expired. The broadcaster has filed a breach-of-contract suit against Charlie Ergen’s direct-broadcast satellite company.

Many retransmission-consent deals between cable companies and TV stations are set to expire New Year’s Eve, which could lead to a wave of broadcast signals being dropped.

Some carriage agreements between programmers and cable operators are expiring at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, too, with Time Warner Cable and Viacom in a dispute that could lead to all MTV Networks’ channels being dropped from the nation’s second-largest cable company.

Fisher owns and operates 13 full-power TV stations, including a 50%-owned station, and seven low-power stations.