TWC, AMC Networks Ink Interim Affiliate Extension

Temporary Accord Keeps IFC, WeTV on MSO's Systems

Executives at Time Warner Cable and AMC Networks can ring in 2013 without staring at the specter of an expiring affiliate contract deadline.

The parties have reached an extension that will keep IFC, which is premiering the third season of Portlandia on Jan. 4, and women’s-targeted network WeTV on the No. 2 cable operator’s systems past the dawn of the new year. The contract had been set to expire at year-end.

Officials at the programmer, whose flagship AMC service and Sundance Channel have separate deals with the MSO, and Time Warner Cable confirmed that an extension was in place that overrides the conclusion of the original contract, but would not disclose how long the bridge will last.

AMC Networks has recently inked new affiliate deals with Verizon's FiOS TV and AT&T's U-Verse, as well as Dish Network. The pact with the No.2 DBS provider followed a legal battle over Voom, the defunct suite of HD services operated by AMC's predecessor company, and the drop of the programmer’s channels last summer.

TWC CEO Glenn Britt declared in early December at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that the MSO is taking a harder line against programming costs and would drop some channels that do not perform commensurate to their license fee. Arts network Ovation is scheduled to become a casualty of the operator's stand to curtail video costs when the calendar turns into 2013.