LIN Stations Warn of Impending Drops at Time Warner Systems

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LIN TV stations are warning Time Warner Cable subscribers that they could lose their “favorite programming” Oct. 2 if the broadcaster and cable operator don’t reach a new retransmission-consent deal.

LIN TV has posted the warning on its local-TV-station Web sites in markets where Time Warner carries its outlets. For example, in Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate KXAN-TV on its Web sites says, “On Oct. 2, you could lose your favorite programming…Time Warner Cable thinks it can carry KXAN-TV’s signals without paying fair market value, yet still charges you for it!”

And in a comment that suggests the station group will pull its signals, the LIN TV Web sites say, “It is unlawful for Time Warner Cable to broadcast our signals without a contract.”

The broadcaster’s retransmission-consent agreement with Time Warner expires at the end of the day Thursday, Oct.2, and both sides are in negotiations.

“We hope LIN TV will not take their stations away from our customers,” Time Warner Cable director of public relations Robyn Watson said Monday.

There are 15 LIN TV-owned stations carried by Time Warner in Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Green Bay, Wis.; Indianapolis; Mobile, Ala.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind. and Toledo, Ohio.

On KXAN-TV’s Web site, LIN TV hints at the license fee it is seeking for its stations.

“We do not believe that a penny per day per subscriber is an unreasonable demand for our award-winning news, sports and entertainment programming,” the broadcaster says. “It is actually much less than what cable companies compensate many of its cable networks, most of which do not have the high viewing of your local NBC station.”

The message also says, “Local broadcast stations are among the most important channels cable operators provide.”

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