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LIN, Comcast Ink Retrans Deal

LIN TV entered an agreement with cable giant Comcast for the retransmission of LIN station signals in 15 markets.

LIN president and CEO Vincent Sadusky called the deal “mutually beneficial.” Terms of the agreement were not revealed.

The deal includes KRQE, KASA, KBIM and KREZ Albuquerque, N.M.; WIVB and WNLO Buffalo, N.Y.; WDTN Dayton, Ohio; WANE Fort Wayne, Ind.; WOOD, WOTV and WXSP Grand Rapids, Mich.; WLUK Green Bay, Wis.; WTNH and WCTX Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; WISH, WNDY and WIIH Indianapolis; WLFI Lafayette, Ind.; WALA and WBPG Mobile, Ala.; WAVY and WVBT Norfolk, Va.; WPRI and WNAC Providence, R.I.; WWLP Springfield, Mass.; WTHI Terre Haute, Ind.; and WUPW Toledo, Ohio.

Earlier Thursday, LIN and Charter Communications agreed on a deal to retransmit 11 of the LIN stations.

“We are delighted to have reached this mutually beneficial agreement with Comcast,” Sadusky said. “Now that we have a solid long-term carriage agreement in place, we can work on broadening and deepening our relationship to meet the new complexities of the digital world we cohabit.”

LIN and Comcast have vowed to work together to build viewer awareness of the digital broadcast transition.

Speaking at a conference earlier this week, Sadusky said HD local programming “changed the paradigm” in terms of negotiating for retransmission-consent fees. “Now there’s quite a bit of leverage,” he added.

Sadusky estimated that 20% of LIN’s revenue in 2010 would come from the digital side of the business, with retransmission representing a large part of digital.