Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) is embroiled in a retransmission battle with Journal Broadcast Group and CBS Corp. According to Multichannel News, the deal with Journal includes six stations in Wisconsin, California and Nebraska, while the CBS deal is much broader, covering not only retransmission deals for stations in its footprint but also those in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas-Ft. Worth. In addition, that deal includes premium channel Showtime, CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel.
The cable company said it is currently negotiating with both parties for a solution. However, both deals expire June 30, and several of the stations involved have been informing their Time Warner Cable customers that their channels may go dark.
Multichannel News reports that Journal Broadcast Group is demanding a 200 percent rate increase for its programming. CBS, meanwhile, also has been aggressive with its retransmission deals, and is reportedly seeking up to $500 million in total retrans fees from all operators this year.
Retransmission battles are becoming quite costly for cable operators. Earlier this week, the FCC said it may fine Houston cable operator TV Max $2.25 million for failing to pay local TV stations retransmission-consent fees. The proposed fine is substantial for TV Max, which counts just 10,000 subscribers located in 245 apartment buildings in Houston.
- see this Multichannel News report
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