Retrans

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As Dec 31 nears, the retrans skirmishes begin popping up. Media General has started warning Time Warner Cable subs that they could lose stations if a new deal is not reached by 11:59pm ET on Dec 31. Potentially impacted markets include: Charleston, SC ( NBC, CW), Raleigh/Durham (NBC, Antenna TV), Columbus, OH (NBC, MeTV), Greenville-New Bern, NC ( CBS, CW), Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (CBS), Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC (CBS, MyNet), Savannah, GA (NBC, MyNet, MeTV) and Tri Cities TN/VA (CBS). Time Warner Cable claims the broadcaster seeking a price increase of up to 200%, while Media General says it's seeking a fair market price. Media General has recently struck deals with Mediacom and DirecTV. TWC is telling subs that if the channels go dark, NBC national primetime programming will continue to be available on VOD for no additional cost. It also noted that NBC (which will have some NFL playoffs) and CBS (which has the Super Bowl) have announced plans to carry their games online. — Morgan Murphy Media is telling DirecTV customers in Yakima, Pasco and Richland, WA, as well as Madison, WI, that they could lose the stations Jan 1. DirecTV said on its DirecTVPromise.com site that those stations' deals don't even expire until next year. While it said it expects to come to an agreement, it recommended customers buy a digital antenna for over-the-air reception so they won't have to worry about “any station owner's threats or blackouts anymore.” Morgan Murphy and DISH had a spat earlier this year, with stations returning in less than a day.

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