Time Warner Cable customers have probably noticed a difference in their local station selection.
Time Warner Cable and Hearst Television have called it quits after the two could not come to an agreement during negotiations regarding retransmission fees.
This disagreement means that local station WXII 12 is no longer available to Time Warner customers. Broadcast of the station ended at midnight on July 9.
Leading up to the cancellation of the station, Hearst Television and Time Warner Cable scrolled messages along the bottom of the screen presenting their respective arguments to customers regarding the negotiations.
Time Warner Cable claims that Hearst Television is asking for a nearly 300 percent increase in retransmission fees. The scrolling statement from Time Warner stated that the increase is “unfair to our customers and unsustainable for our business.”
Hearst Television officials released a statement that is posted on WXII’s Web site. It states, “Time Warner Cable refuses to pay our station a reasonable fee relative to what it pays for other significantly less popular channels. Time Warner’s characterization of the percentage increase in carriage fees we are seeking is inaccurate.”
Hearst Television claims that the fees the company is requesting are consistent with Hearst’s increased costs and with the fees they are charging Time Warner’s competitors.
In a scrolling message placed on channel 12 on July 10 Time Warner stated, “Hearst Television chose to black out their signals from our customers rather than continue negotiation.”
Hearst Television disputed these claims in its statement posted on WXII’s Website.
“Contrary to Time Warner’s claim, we have not ‘blacked out’ our station,” officials from Hearst Television wrote. “You may continue to receive our station for free, over the air, or by satellite from DIRECTV or DISH, and, where available, from other cable operators.”
This is not the first fee dispute that Time Warner Cable has found itself involved in. In November 2010, the cable company and Sinclair Broadcast Group were in a battle over fees that threatened to affect 33 stations in 21 cities. After two months of extended deadlines the two conglomerates reached an agreement during which customers were not subjected to a cancellation of channels.
Time Warner Cable has similar disputes with The Walt Disney Company and Fox Broadcasting Company in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
During the continuing negotiations WXII encourages viewers who wish to continue following their programming to use an antenna or switch to DirecTv, AT&T U-Verse or Dish Network or view the station’s newscast on its Web site at www.wxii12.com.
Time Warner Cable suggests that its customers turn to other local stations for news, such as New 14 Carolina and WGHP/FOX8.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.