LIN, Time Warner Cable Reach Retrans Agreement

Carriage Continues as Parties Score New Accord Ahead of Contract Expiration

LIN Media and Time Warner Cable reached a new retransmission-consent agreement on Friday afternoon, averting a potential station disconnect as their old contract was set to expire.

The two-year contract for 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 programming deals for the smaller MSO) systems was scheduled to end at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31.

Deal terms were not disclosed. Time Warner Cable had said LIN was seeking a 50% increase in compensation, while LIN characterized the rates it was asking for as reasonable and less than the operators pays for many cable networks with lower ratings.

“We are pleased to report that an agreement has been reached with Time Warner Cable,” LIN said in a statement shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday. “As a result, Time Warner Cable subscribers may continue to watch our local news and programming without disruption. This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to our viewers."

The cable operator issued its own statement: “Time Warner Cable has reached an agreement with LIN Media for continued carriage of their broadcast stations.  Time Warner Cable customers can continue to view the programming of LIN Media’s stations without interruption.”

For TWC and Bright House, the negotiations centered around 24 LIN stations 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).

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