Charter Communications announced that it had reached an agreement in principle with LIN TV, which will avoid pulling LIN stations off Charter systems in seven markets when the current retrans deal expires June 30th. For its part, LIN isn’t commenting until the deal is actually signed.
Charter said the agreement now being reduced to print in its final form will allow it to continue to carry the analog, digital and HD signals of 11 LIN stations in Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Hartford-New Haven, Springfield, MA, Dayton, Providence and Toledo.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle with LIN TV, giving us the right to continue delivering programming offered by their owned or operated stations, and affording Charter the opportunity to expand our high definition (HD) programming to our customers in these communities,” said Ted Schremp, Senior Vice President of Product Management and Strategy for Charter.
LIN announced earlier this month that it had failed to come to terms with Charter on a new retransmission consent agreement and would not extend its old agreement past June 30. Although Charter announced Thursday that the conflict had been resolved and the parties were working to put the agreement in principle into final form, LIN said it would not comment because negotiations were ongoing.
RBR/TVBR observation: No doubt this scenario will be repeated many times in the coming months. Retrans talks are going nowhere – and the MSO continues to enjoy free access – until the broadcaster sets a cutoff date for its signals to be pulled from the cable systems. Then the cable company faces up to the new reality that it has to pay for the major broadcast network affiliates and comes back to negotiate a reasonable deal. It is just so hard to give up getting something for nothing.