Comcast’s Retrans Deal With Hearst-Argyle Extended

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Comcast’s retransmission-consent deal for Hearst-Argyle Television stations has been extended, according to a securities filing Wednesday by the broadcaster.

Lifetime Entertainment Services, which is 50% owned by Hearst Corp. and 50% owned by The Walt Disney Co., negotiates carriage deals with distributors that include retransmission consent for Hearst-Argyle stations and carriage of Lifetime cable networks.

Hearst-Argyle told the Securities & Exchange Commission that last Friday an April 2 agreement with Comcast for Lifetime and the broadcaster’s TV stations was amended “to extend the permitted term of the retransmission consent agreement” for analog and digital signals.

“The company believes that the material terms of the Lifetime amendment and the Comcast agreement constitute competitive information, and the company will seek confidential treatment of the material terms of the Lifetime amendment and the Comcast agreement,” Hearst-Argyle said in its SEC filing.

The broadcaster also reported that the aggregate annual consideration it will receive in 2009 “under the Lifetime agreement with respect to Comcast, as amended, and under the Comcast agreement, will be less than 2.4% of the company’s estimated 2008 net operating revenues.”

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