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Time Warner & Sinclair Reach “Agreement in Principle”

SYRACUSE — While your editor was away for a road trip this weekend, Sinclair Broadcast Group stations Fox 68 (WSYT) and My43 (WNYS) were supposed to disappear from local Time Warner Cable systems.  But they didn’t — the cable company says it and Sinclair have reached an “agreement in principle” to keep the stations on cable.  But it’s not a done deal just yet.

A press release we received from Time Warner on Saturday read as follows:

TIME WARNER CABLE REACHES AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE
WITH SINCLAIR BROADCASTING

Agreement assures continued availability of local broadcast stations

NEW YORK, NY, January 15, 2011– Time Warner Cable has reached an agreement in principle with Sinclair Broadcasting for continued carriage of its 28 local stations in TWC markets, and expects to work toward a final agreement in the next seven days.

“We’re pleased to reach an agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting without any interruption in service for our customers,” said Rob Marcus, President and Chief Operating Officer of Time Warner Cable. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and support throughout this negotiation, and thank them for their patronage.”

For more information on retransmission consent, please visit www.rolloverorgettough.com.

As usual, neither side is disclosing the latest details on the negotiations, and we don’t expect to hear the details when the promised “final agreement” is reached, either.  Cable companies and content providers typically don’t disclose the terms of their retransmission deals to the public.

The original deal between Time Warner and Sinclair expired on New Year’s Eve, but the companies agreed to a temporary 14-day extension to keep Sinclair stations included on cable lineups.  This new “agreement in principle” is another band-aid until a new long-term deal is formed.

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