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Nexstar, Tegna Reach Retrans Deals With Comcast

Major station owners Nexstar Media and Tegna have reached new retransmission agreements with cable giant Comcast, averting potential New Years' blackouts.

Nexstar also reached a retrans and carriage agreement with Charter Communications.

Tegna also said it reached terms on an agreement with Suddenlink, whose retrans pact with the broadcaster was set to expire Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Financial terms were not available but the negotiations took place in a climate in which station owners are seeking bigger payments from distributors, while distributors are losing subscribers due to cord-cutting and competition from streaming.

Neither Comcast nor the station groups have made formal announcements about reaching new deals.

A source familiar with the situation said that Comcast’s deal with Tegna was completed recently.

The Nexstar-Comcast agreement appears to be even fresher, with a source familiar with the situation saying the deal with done. Nexstar also agreed to a new retrans deal with Frontier Communications. 

Nexstar’s current contract with Comcast was due to expire Tuesday night.

Comcast had been running warning to viewers about a possible blackout. According to Cord Cutters News, those warning stopped appearing on Tuesday.

An agreement would affect more than 90 Nexstar stations. Nexstar also owns the cable network WGN America. 

Meanwhile, AT&T's DirecTV and Hearst appeared to be going down to the wire. Their deal is up Tuesday night, but negotiations were said to be ongoing into the evening. Just before midnight, the two side agreed to a short-term extension while talks continue. 

Jon Lafayette
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.