LIN, Time Warner Cable Face Retrans Carriage Deadline

Contract Set to Expire on May 31

Updated: May 23, 2 p.m. (ET)

A retransmission-consent battle could be brewing between stations owned by LIN TV and Time Warner Cable.

The nation’s second-largest MSO says that LIN is alerting viewers that their contract to carry the stations expires on May 31 at 5 p.m. (ET). Time Warner Cable maintains that LIN is seeking a 50% increase in compensation, just two years after the parties reached a retrans deal.

All told, 24 LIN stations --  affiliated with Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, The CW and MyNetwork TV -- across 14 markets served by Time Warner Cable and Bright House (TWC negotiates programing deals for the smaller MSO) systems could be impacted by any potential disconnect. TWC is hopeful a deal can be reached ahead of the contract expiration.

Lin officials also says the company wants to strike a new accord, stating that the rates "we are asking for are reasonable and less than Time Warner pays for many of its cable networks with far lower ratings. Our stations are important assets to the local community and we only want what is fair, so we can continue to serve our viewers."

In a dispute during fall 2008, LIN’s TV stations went dark on TWC lineups for 25 days.

For TWC and Bright House, the current impasse could result in 24 station blackouts in 14 markets: Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT – CBS); Mobile, Ala. (WALA – Fox and WFNA – CW); Savannah, Ga. (WJCL – ABC); Honolulu (KHON – Fox and CW); Terre Haute, Ind. (WTHI – CBS); Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE – CBS); Indianapolis (WISH – CBS and WNDY – MyNetworkTV); Springfield, Mass. (WWLP – NBC and WFXQ – NBC); Buffalo, N.Y. (WIVB – CBS and WNLO – CW); Dayton, Ohio (WDTN – NBC and WBDT – CW); Youngstown, Ohio (WKBN – CBS and WYFX – Fox); Austin, Texas (KXAN – NBC, KNVA – CW and KBVO – MyNetworkTV); Norfolk, Va. (WAVY – NBC and WVBT – Fox); and Green Bay, Wisc. (WLUK – Fox and WCWF – CW).