Battle For Seattle Ends: Fox, Tribune Extend KCPQ Affiliation

Tribune and 21st Century Fox have ironed out a multi-year extension of the disputed Fox affiliation in Seattle, with KCPQ continuing its Fox affiliation through July 2018. The deal is concurrent with the timing of seven other agreements between Tribune and Fox on affiliation. Fox has withdrawn the termination notice it sent Tribune in September regarding KCPQ, and has agreed that the affiliation will no longer be subject to early termination prior to July 2018.

Tribune has agreed, as of January 1, 2015, to pay "additional programming fees to Fox for the prime time and sports content provided by the network," said Tribune.

"We are pleased to have secured a multi-year agreement with Fox to extend our affiliation with KCPQ in Seattle through July 2018," said Peter Liguori, president and CEO, Tribune Media.  "Today's agreement illustrates the value both parties place on resolving issues on mutually satisfactory and beneficial terms."

On October 7, Fox Television Stations agreed to acquire independent KBCB Bellingham, operating in the Seattle market, for $10 million. A Fox insider called it a "strategic option" for the group as it negotiated with Tribune for the Seattle affiliation.

In September, Fox Television Stations gave Tribune a "notice of termination" for KCPQ. Fox is intent on owning stations where NFC teams play, to maximize Fox's investment in its NFC football package.

21st Century Fox did not comment on the Tribune announcement in Seattle, but a spokesman confirmed KCPQ's renewal.

"KCPQ is an outstanding station driven by the high-quality local news, entertainment and sports programming offered by the station and its continued affiliation with Fox," said Larry Wert, president of Tribune Broadcasting. "This extension serves the community of Seattle, and reinforces the vibrancy of our station group."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.