LIN Television Corporation will pull four stations from cable provider Cox Communications unless the two can negotiate a new retransmission agreement by March 1.
FierceCable reports the cable company will lose Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., FOX affiliate WALA-TV and CW affiliate WFNA-TV, according to statements already posted to the stations’ websites.
Also involved are Rhode Island FOX affiliate WNAC-TV and CBS affiliate WPRI-TV.
From the statement on WALA-TV’s website:
“We are working hard to reach a new agreement with COX, however, we feel it is our duty to keep our viewers informed when a contract deadline approaches and a new agreement has not yet been reached. If we do not reach an agreement, by law, COX cannot carry our television stations on its cable system.”
The same statements are also posted prominently on the home pages of the other three stations.
Wondering why you’re seeing so many of these retransmission stories this year? FierceCable’s Steve Donohue says the Federal Communications Commission’s relaxed media ownership rules are to blame. The FCC allows many broadcasters and conglomerates to operate or own several stations in the same market, which forces cable providers to pay the new rates even more because of the network programming controlled by the stations.