Time Warner antes up for axing signals


Time Warner Cable Friday agreed to pay $72,000 to the U.S. Treasury for dropping the signals of eight ABC stations during the first 40 hours of last year's May sweeps.

The FCC declared that the payment was "voluntary" and allowed the agency to close the book on the high-profile spat without imposing any "administrative or other penalties."

Time Warner's cutoff was a public relations disaster because it raised doubts about the company's willingness to treat programmers and customers fairly at the same time federal regulators were scrutinizing the company's merger with America Online. The FCC ruled on May 3 that Time Warner violated rules barring cable operators from yanking a broadcaster's signal during sweeps.
- Bill McConnell