Tribune slams Cablevison in latest US retrans row

Editor | 27-08-2012

In the latest move in the retransmission row affecting the US TV market, Tribune subsidiary the Fox affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut, has pulled its content from Cablevision’s cable systems offerings.

The dispute kicked off on 17 August when Cablevision cut access to its cable TV subscribers of programming on a number of Tribune’s television stations, including WPIX-TV (New York), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WCCT-TV (Hartford) and KWGN-TV (Denver).

In this latest move, Cablevision customers in the Hartford region will no longer have access to Tribune local news, traffic, weather, sports and entertainment programming provided by WTIC-TV. In addition, Tribune’s networks, WGN America and AntennaTV, will no longer be available to Cablevision subscribers and Cablevision subscribers in Hartford will be denied access to programming such as New Girl, Glee, The Simpsons, and live sports like NFL Football, NASCAR and Major League Baseball.

At the centre of the dispute, says Tribune, is Cablevision’s lack of compensation for the rebroadcast of WTIC-TV, even though Tribune claims to have made “significant investments” in high quality programming. Tribune adds that it is “simply asking for an agreement that is similar to those that Cablevision already has in place with many other broadcasters and programme providers.”

“This is an extremely unfortunate situation and we’re disappointed that Cablevision refuses to recognise the value of these channels to our viewers,” added Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting president. “We remain far apart in negotiations and urge subscribers to call Cablevision and to express themselves through social media, including Twitter and Facebook.”