SYRACUSE — The new year begins with new developments in the ongoing dispute between Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Instead of being pulled off cable lineups nationwide last night, 31 Sinclair stations — including Syracuse’s Fox 68 (WSYT) and My43 (WNYS), will remain available on cable… for at least two more weeks.
The original retransmission agreement between TWC and SBG was due to expire at 11:59pm last night. Sinclair reportedly wanted an increase averaging 10 cents per subscriber per station, but Time Warner declined. SBG even issued a press release on December 28, saying negotiations had ended. But CNYRadio.com/CNYTVNews.com received the following press release from Time Warner Cable just before 8:30pm on New Year’s Eve:
Statement from Time Warner Cable regarding status of negotiations with Sinclair Broadcasting
UPSTATE NEW YORK – December 31, 2010 – We’re pleased that we’ve reached an extension with Sinclair Broadcasting that will allow our customers to continue to receive all Sinclair Broadcasting stations uninterrupted through January 14th and allow us to continue negotiating to reach a long-term agreement. We thank our customers for their patience and support throughout these negotiations. Customers should check www.rolloverorgettough.com for updates on this situation.
Neither Time Warner nor Sinclair have offered any additional details on the status of negotiations.
Previously, Time Warner has said that network programming would not be interrupted, even if Sinclair pulled the plug on its stations. And based on what’s happened in Utica — where Time Warner has been carrying Scranton, Pennsylvania’s WBRE in place of WKTV since December 16 — it appears Time Warner isn’t bluffing.
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While we were unable to get a full story published until today, we did have a quick update on the CNYRadio.com Facebook page and our Twitter feed last night, soon after receiving Time Warner’s statements. If you haven’t already “liked” and/or “followed” us, be sure to do so — for automatic updates as new stories are published to the site, and for other “bonus” updates that don’t appear on the site.