Suddenlink-LIN TV Retransmission-Consent Spat Continues

TV-Station Owner Pulled Signals of KXAN Austin, Texas; KBIM Albuquerque, N.M., from Cable Operator

The retransmission-consent row that saw LIN TV yank the signal for KXAN Austin, Texas, on Suddenlink Communications cable systems in Texas earlier this week shows no signs of ending.

Suddenlink announced a carriage deal with another NBC affiliate in the region, Temple, Texas-based KCEN, to provide NBC programming to the estimated 30,000 Austin homes that went dark on New Year’s Eve. But LIN said the station, located some 60 miles north of Austin, won’t provide true local news to the Austin market.

“It appears to be all too representative of Suddenlink’s customer sensibilities that it would think that a Temple, Texas, station reporting on news in Temple and Waco will be regarded by the folks in Georgetown and other communities it serves in the Austin market as an adequate substitute for one of the strongest Austin news stations,” LIN said in a statement.

LIN and Suddenlink attempted to negotiate a carriage deal for KXAN and KBIM Albuquerque, N.M., throughout the fall until the talks broke down several days before the Dec. 31 deadline. A Suddenlink spokesman said LIN requested “nonstandard things” during the negotiations, and the cable operator does not pay “direct cash for any transaction.”

In its statement, LIN said Suddenlink “has made it clear that it does not value or understand the importance of local stations.” While negotiations are on hiatus, Suddenlink’s spokesperson said the cable operator was willing to talk.