Time Warner Cable is facing a summer retrans impasse with Journal Broadcast Group, owner of six television stations in Wisconsin, California and Nebraska on June 30.
TWC is claiming the Journal stations – including those in Milwaukee; Green Bay – Appleton, Wis; Palm Springs, Calif.; and Omaha Neb. – are demanding a 200% rate increase for their programming.
“We continue to take a stand against unreasonable fee increases by local broadcast TV stations,” TWC said in a statement. “We are pushing back against broadcasters that demand egregious increases without delivering more value.”
On their various web sites, the stations – WGBA (NBC) and WACY (MNT) in Green Bay; WTMJ (NBC) in Milwaukee; KMTV (CBS) in Omaha; and KMIR (NBC) and KPSE (MNT) in Palm Springs – say that negotiations are ongoing, but they are informing Time Warner Cable customers of the possibility their channels may go dark.
If an agreement is not reached by 11:59 p.m. on June 30, that’s just what may happen.
Time Warner Cable has had similar scuffles in the area with other broadcasters – last July Hearst TV pulled its ABC affiliate, WISN-TV, for one week in a retrans dispute. The MSO has taken an increasingly tough stance on retrans price increases and last year said it would drop smaller channels that don’t present a value equal to or above their carriage rates.
“We want to reach a fair agreement with Journal because we recognize that our customers value this programming, but what Journal is demanding is just outrageous; it’s up to us to fight back and keep prices as affordable as possible,” TWC said in a statement.