Sans consent pacts, ABC offers extensions
By Steve McClellan -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/30/2000 8:00:00 PM
With little progress in their retransmission consent talks, and looming deadlines for striking deals, both ABC and Hearst-Argyle Television granted Time Warner Cable (TWC) extensions to carry their TV signals last week.
But at deadline Friday, TWC said it was still considering whether to accept the ABC extension.
Separately, ABC has granted Comcast a six-month retransmission consent extension.
Meanwhile, a Hearst-Argyle proposal to TWC linking retrans to the rollout of a new Lifetime movie channel has been withdrawn, according to the MSO. The key issue in those talks is now a hike in carriage fees for Lifetime.
TWC says Lifetime wants an unacceptable 200% increase. Lifetime had no comment .
The extensions from ABC and Hearst-Argyle came after both broadcasters rejected proposals for extensions of up to eight months by Time Warner Cable.
ABC has offered to extend retransmission consent to TWC from May 1 through the end of the May sweeps, May 24. Time Warner wanted a longer extension. But ABC says FCC rules prohibit cable systems from yanking a broadcast signal during a sweeps period.
Hearst-Argyle has extended retransmission to the MSO for another two months, through June 30. Hearst-Argyle Television is being represented in its talks with TWC by Lifetime, in which Hearst has a 50% stake.
TWC had proposed an eight-month extension, suggesting that a longer extension will bring some "coolheadedness," to the negotiations and eliminate the brinkmanship that has characterized the talks up to this point, said TWC Vice President Michael Luftman.
ABC dismissed the proposal as a thinly veiled attempt by the MSO to get past the approval process for the AOL-Time Warner merger before picking up the retransmission talks again.
No related content found.
No Top Articles