Tribune, Cablevision Reach Retrans Accord

Blackout Lifted in Time For Game 3 of World Series

About two months after pulling its signals from Cablevision Systems in the New York metro area and a small portion of the West, Tribune Broadcasting reached a retransmission consent agreement with the operator late Friday. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Tribune pulled its stations – WPIX (The CW) in New York; WCCT (The CW) and WTIC (Fox) in Connecticut; WPHL (My Network TV) in a small portion of New Jersey and KWGN (The CW) and Superstation WGN in part of its Optimum West territory which includes Montana, Utah and Wyoming– in August after the companies could not agree on financial terms. During the blackout,  Cablevision offered a free preview of the NFL Network in place of WPIX in the New York market for several weeks.

The agreement comes one day after Connecticut state senator Gayle Slossberg called on the Federal Communications Commission to intervene in the retrans dispute,  mainly because about 50,000 residents in her state were unable to see Fox programming, particularly the Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series. The agreement comes in time for those Cablevision customers to see Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday.

"We are pleased to have reached agreement with Tribune to return its stations to Cablevision, particularly its Fox affiliate in Connecticut, the only source of Fox programming for about 50,000 of our customers,” Cablevision said in a statement. “We sincerely appreciate the patience of our customers as we worked to reach an agreement that is consistent with our focus on minimizing the impact of rising programming costs on cable rates."

In a statement on its WPIX web site, Tribune confirmed that a deal had been reached.

“We thank our viewers for their loyalty and continued support,” Tribune said in the statement. “You can look forward to the return of your favorite CW shows and top-quality local programming, including award-winning news, political coverage, traffic, weather and live sports."