Journal Communications Says Its Stations May Go Dark On Time Warner Cable

The companies are playing hardball on renewal terms for the retransmission consent contract that expires Sunday night. If they fail to reach an agreement then it could affect a little more than 500,000 Time Warner Cable customers, including fans of NBC programming in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Palm Springs; CBS viewers in Omaha; and MyNetworkTV watchers in Green Bay and Palm Springs. The cable company “has refused to reach a fair, market-based deal to carry our stations,” Journal Communications tells its viewers on a website. The company adds that it seeks “a modest increase in fees” from its three-year-old agreement, a period during which “much has changed, including programming and sports content.” Journal’s proposed fees “are less than 3% of what Time Warner charges a typical subscriber for service.” But TWC spokesman Jon Gary Herrera says the broadcaster’s terms are “outrageous” and include a “more than a 200% increase for the same programming they deliver over the air for free.” The cable company accounts for about 22% of Journal Communications’ viewers, according to SNL Kagan.

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