By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/24/2002 7:00:00 PM
Tribune gets extension
Tribune will get an additional six months to sell WTXX(TV) Waterbury, Conn., to comply with FCC restrictions on TV duopolies and crossownership rules.
Tribune, under orders to sell the station by Feb. 6, told the FCC its efforts to sell the UPN affiliate failed to garner bids "in the range" of a broker's appraisal. Tribune also owns WTIC-TV there, as well as the Hartford Courant. Tribune purchased the newspaper as part of its acquisition of Times-Mirror in June 2000. At the time, the WTXX acquisition from Counterpoint Communications was pending at the FCC. Agency rules forbid owning a TV station and a newspaper in the same market. Still, Tribune won't have to choose between owning WTIC-TV and the Courant until 2007.
Additionally, the FCC forbids TV duopolies in markets like Hartford, where there are fewer than eight separately owned TV stations. Temporary ownership of WTXX was allowed because the station is considered economically failing.
Supremes punt on subs
The Supreme Court Tuesday decided against hearing a case on who determines the residential or commercial status of PPV customers and for charging them accordingly.
In 1996, the Melody Lane Lounge in Massillon, Ohio, paid Time Warner Cable $39.95 to air a Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota fight. It should have paid the $1,000 commercial rate, charged National Satellite Sports, which was carrying the fight to commercial customers. A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Time Warner had to pay NSS $4,500 in damages and $26,000 for costs and attorneys' fees.
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