Extension for Time Warner, Sinclair

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Time Warner Cable agreed to extend their contract so that the cable operator can keep carrying the broadcaster’s stations in former Adelphia Communications markets until Jan. 12.

Without the extension, which both sides agreed to Sunday, the cable operator would have been forced to stop carrying Sinclair stations on New Year’s Eve in markets in New York, such as Buffalo and Syracuse, and in Ohio and Maine. That would have impacted about 1 million of Time Warner’s 13.5 million subscribers.

Adelphia’s old retransmission-consent deal with Sinclair expired Dec. 31, and the extension will give both the broadcaster and Time Warner more time to renegotiate a new pact.

Sinclair’s retransmission-consent dispute with Mediacom Communications is still pending. Unless their deadlock is broken, Mediacom’s current deal extension with Sinclair will expire at 12:01 a.m. this coming Saturday, Jan. 6.

At that time, the cable operator will have to stop carrying two-dozen Sinclair stations, affecting roughly 700,000 subscribers, in markets including Des Moines, Iowa; Nashville, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; and Minneapolis.

Sinclair owns stations that are affiliates of Fox, ABC, CBS, The CW and My Network TV.

Mediacom’s retransmission-consent pact with Sinclair had been set to expire Dec. 1, but in late November, the broadcaster granted the cable operator an extension until Jan. 5.

In the meantime, KAYU-TV, a Fox affiliate owned by Northwest Broadcasting, continues to withhold its signal from Time Warner in a retransmission-consent flap.

In mid-December, KAYU pulled its station from the cable operator’s systems in Coeur d’Alene and Moscow, Idaho; Libby, Mont.; and Pullman, Wash.

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