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LIN TV threatens to pull CBS, NBC, Fox stations from Charter Communications

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LIN TV said it will pull its CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC, My NetworkTV and The CW affiliates from Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) subscribers in Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Oregon and New England unless the cable MSO agrees to pay increased retransmission-consent fees by Nov. 29.

Charter will lose the feed from New Haven, Conn.-based ABC affiliate WTNH-TV, Birmingham CBS affiliate WIAT-TV, Providence, R.I.-based Fox affiliate WNAC-TV, and CBS affiliate WPRI-TV, according to statements LIN posted on websites operated by the stations. It will also lose Fox affiliate WLUK-TV and The CW affiliate WCWF-TV in Green Bay, and NBC affiliate WOOD-TV and My NetworkTV affiliate WXSP in Grand Rapids.

"Without a fair agreement, we will not be able to provide the premiere news, sports, entertainment, weather, traffic updates, political coverage and other local and national programming that is most important to you," Lin said a statement posted the websites of stations in Charter markets. The broadcaster also encouraged viewers to call Charter to complain, and to switch to another provider if they lose the signals.

Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont told FierceCable that LIN is demanding a 150 percent increase in retransmision-consent fees. "We've offered a fair and equitable rate to LIN TV, and they've refused. Charter customers have told us to take a firm stand against huge fee increase demands such as this," Lamont added. 

LIN is known to play hardball with cable affiliates. When LIN was negotiating a retransmission-consent deal with Charter in 2008, it teamed up with Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) to market $50 incentives if Charter subscribers dropped the cable provider for a Dish subscription. Last fall, LIN pulled its stations from Mediacom Communications subscribers for six weeks, until the MSO agreed to pay increased fees.

For more:
- see the LIN TV statement

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