Disney-Time Warner Cable: Carriage Renewal Talks Continue


Talks continue between Time Warner Cable and The Walt Disney Co. executives on Monday, as the parties remain confident a new comprehensive carriage contract will be reached ahead of their expiring pact on Wednesday morning.
However, the No. 2 cable operator and the programmer have yet to finalize a new contract, with the old one covering retransmission-consent for a quintet of ABC owned-and-operated stations, as well as six cable networks, including ESPN and Disney Channel ending at midnight on Sept. 2.
A Disney spokeswoman said officials continue to work on the deal. At the same time, she emphasized that a final agreement had yet to be forged.
She pointed to the fact that both parties had ceased their advertising campaigns on TV, print, radio and the Internet declaring their positions in the rights negotiations and the joint statement issued over the weekend about "significant progress" on Disney's IHavechoices.com and Time Warner Cable's RollOverOrGetTough.com Web sites as signs they were moving in the right direction.
Sources familiar with the negotiations indicate that have come to some accord on what retransmission-consent fees Time Warner Cable will pay to continue to offer Disney O&OS in New York (WABC-TV), Los Angeles (KABC-TV), Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (WTVD-TV), as well as in Houston (KTRK-TV) and Toledo, Ohio (WTVG-TV).The MSO counts a relatively small number of subscribers in the latter two DMAs.
Progress evidently has also been made on such issues as whether broadband service ESPN3.com will be made available to the operator's Roadrunner ISP, and if the MSO would carry Disney Jr., the preschool service the programmer is converting from SoapNet next year.