Negotiations have failed, but the saber-rattling continues as Time Warner Cable and LIN spar over 15 stations going dark for TWC subscribers. The two parties failed to draw up a new contract as of midnight Thursday night, and LIN shut its 15 stations off for TWC viewers.
TWC says it was happy to put a pot of coffee on and work through the night last night, but asserts LIN wasn’t up to it. TWC says it also asked for an extension before the signals were yanked, but LIN would not comply. “We offered to work through the night to reach an agreement, and they refused,” said TWC Chief Programming Officer Melinda Witmer. “They showed little regard for their viewers and advertisers, and our customers, in their preference to remove the channel rather than work toward resolution.”
LIN countered: “Time Warner has known since August that the contract expired on October 2nd. We previously offered TW an extension and they didn’t accept it, nor even respond. They finally sent their first serious proposal late yesterday afternoon, and we worked diligently beyond midnight to close the gap, but were unsuccessful…We hope we will be able to reach an agreement.”
The LIN stations, including WISH Indianapolis, are in Austin, Buffalo, Columbus, Dayton, Ft. Wayne, Green Bay, Mobile, Springfield (Mass), Terre Haute and Toledo. LIN has said it is seeking “fair and equitable compensation” from TWC. The broadcaster suggests affected viewers watch LIN programming through “alternative means, including switching to a satellite service such as DISH Network or a telecommunications service such as Verizon’s FiOS TV.” TWC suggests viewers rely on an antenna or watch on the Web.
TWC called LIN greedy in a statement issued Friday morning. “LIN TV already makes millions of dollars in additional advertising revenue as a direct result of being on Time Warner Cable,” Witmer concluded. “Demanding more is just plain greedy and our customers deserve better.”