Here is the latest update from Hearst Television, after all Hearst O&O stations except one (WISN-ABC Milwaukee) have been dark across the country on Time Warner Cable systems since 7/10. Negotiations broke down because, according to Time Warner, Hearst wants a 300% increase in compensation for its stations’ programming on TWC systems across the country.
Hearst stations pulled their signals at midnight on 7/10. The Hearst stations that are not currently being carried by Time Warner Cable include: WTAE-ABC Pittsburgh, WLWT-NBC Cincinnati, KITV-ABC Honolulu; WCVB-ABC Boston; WMTW-ABC Portland ME; WNNE-NBC Hartford VT/Hanover, NH; WPTZ-NBC Plattsburg NY; WPTZ-D2 -This TV Plattsburgh NY; WXII-NBC Winston-Salem NC; KCWE-CW and KMBC-ABC Kansas City MO; KETV-ABC Lincoln NE and WLKY-CBS Louisville.
Here is the statement from Hearst:
Notwithstanding assertions by representatives of Time Warner Cable that they are negotiating with Hearst Television, Time Warner is attempting to create the illusion of a breakdown of the retransmission consent negotiation process. Although Hearst Television presented Time Warner with a proposal yesterday that was within 5% of its offer to Hearst on July 9, Time Warner has failed to respond.
Hearst Television’s President, David Barrett, said, “As of today, Time Warner Cable is attempting to portray a stalemate – when none exists.” Barrett added “We’re disappointed to say that Time Warner Cable is refusing to participate in a negotiating process that has enabled us to conclude more than 150 agreements, without service interruptions, in recent months. Instead, Time Warner is acting as the conductor of the public relations bandwagon ridden by other multi-channel video distributors in various unrelated negotiations with program providers.”
In 20 years of negotiations with distributors, Hearst Television has experienced only one brief disruption of service – this in contrast to multiple service disruptions involving Time Warner in recent years. Barrett noted “It has become clear that Time Warner, as the leader in the lobbying effort to roll back the 1992 Cable Act, which was designed to preserve the health of local television broadcasting and has worked as Congress intended, has decided to hold its subscribers hostage in the hope that it can pressure Congress to intervene.”
Barrett concluded: “This dispute is ripe for settlement – today.”