Tribune Inks Comcast Deal

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Comcast Corp. reached a multiyear renewal deal with Tribune Co. that will expand carriage for WGN superstation and provide retransmission-consent agreements for analog and high-definition feeds for a host of the company's TV stations.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, covers 21 Tribune stations in 19 of the nation's top 50 markets, according to executives at both companies. It was unclear when HD feeds from the Tribune stations would become available to Comcast systems.

Relative to WGN, Dennis Gillespie, senior vice president of affiliate sales for Tower Distribution Co., said that over the next two years, the deal will bolster the network's presence in traditional Comcast markets, as well as those systems acquired from AT&T Broadband. However, he declined to specify the number of additional households.

Gillespie did say, though, that with the Comcast renewal and other deals Tribune expects to finalize by spring, WGN's reach would grow from 59 million to 66 million homes over the next two years.

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