Programming

LIN-Time Warner Cable Retrans Talks Hit Crunch Time

Midnight Thursday deadline for retransmission-consent negotiations between LIN TV, Time Warner Cable. 10/01/2008 12:15:00 PM Eastern

LIN TV’s retransmission-consent negotiations with Time Warner Cable continued Wednesday with a channel blackout possible if no deal is reached by the end of Thursday.

LIN TV’s carriage deal on Time Warner Cable systems for 15 of its TV stations expires at midnight Thursday. Both sides said they were in talks.

A LIN spokeswoman indicated that the broadcaster was not inclined to allow its stations to be transmitted after the deadline, even if negotiations are continuing.

Said a Time Warner Cable spokesman, “We’re still hopeful. These things tend to go down to the wire.”

Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield wrote, “Assuming that LIN only wants [the] $0.01 [per subscriber, per] day it mentions in some of its press materials, that equates to about $10 million of annual cost to TWC,” which is relatively small.

However, Greenfield feels that Time Warner Cable may be worried about setting a precedent for other retrans negotiations. Greenfield estimated that 2.7 million Time Warner Cable subscribers receive a LIN TV station.

The Web site for KXAN, LIN’s NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas, alerted viewers that they will miss out on the National Football League, Wheel of Fortune, Law & Order, Jeopardy! and local news in the event of a blackout.

LIN said Time Warner Cable is the last of its retrans deals in its current business cycle.

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