Retrans for Charter, Texas Station

Charter Communications Inc. has reached a tentative retransmission-consent agreement with KIII-TV, the ABC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas, the station’s general manager confirmed Wednesday.

The cable operator, which has about 10,000 subscribers in the market, basically worked out a verbal agreement with KIII last Friday, said station general manager Dick Drilling. But the pact still needs to be finalized with a written contract.

The tentative agreement between KIII and Charter was first reported by the Corpus ChristiCaller-Times.

But Time Warner Cable and Cable One Inc. are still in talks with the station, which will pull its signal — taking away access to the Jan. 4 Rose Bowl — if new deals aren’t reached by Dec. 31.

Time Warner has more than 100,000 and Cable One has about 6,000. Charter spokesman Dave Andersen, who said Tuesday his MSO was still negotiating with KIII, couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

The University of Texas and the University of Southern California are playing in this year’s Rose Bowl.

Drilling denied Time Warner’s claims that his station is essentially seeking $500,000 from the cable system so that it can continue to carry KIII.

“I am not asking for cash payment,” he said, although he declined to offer details about exactly what KIII is seeking.

Drilling questioned whether Time Warner was negotiating in good faith, since he claimed when they came in to talk to him in early December the system had already purchased A/B switches, which it is handing out.