Retransmission Wars Avoided… This Time

Good news! Broadcaster Sinclair and Time Warner Cable have worked out an agreement on retransmission, at least in general terms, and will extend the agreement that expired December 31st until February 21st, to give the two sides time to finalize the details. Sinclair did not pull any of its programming from the cable service during the dispute.

In December, the Hearst Corp. managed to reach settle retransmission agreements with DirecTV without any channels going dark.

Perhaps the parties have learned that consumers are not discerning when it comes to placing blame when their programming gets interrupted. It’s clearly “a pox on both your houses” sort of situation, and both sides lose in the court of public opinion. When people already feel that they’re paying too much and getting too little for their television subscription dollar, any dispute over retransmission fees looks a lot like greed. And then subscription fees go up with no increase in service; it’s not surprising that consumers are upset.

There will be more retransmission disputes coming down the road, however, so we’ll soon see if this congenial attitude is a trend or a short-term aberration.