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Sinclair, Time Warner Cable Retrans Battle Continues

Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast Group, after flirting briefly with the possibility of entering into arbitration, appear to be as far apart as ever in their ongoing retransmission consent dispute.

Sinclair first brought up the possibility of arbitration on Dec. 13, but pulled back that offer after Time Warner Cable requested a series of conditions, the biggest of which was that only Sinclair's Big Four major-network affiliates be included. The two parties continue to talk, but according to Sinclair executive vice president and general counsel Barry Faber, arbitration is not currently part of the discussion.

"The idea of arbitration right now is a completely dead issue," Faber said.

Time Warner Cable's carriage agreement with Sinclair is set to expire at midnight on Jan. 1.

Sinclair wants its The CW and MyNetwork TV affiliates included in the talks and Time Warner Cable does not. In fact, Time Warner Cable doesn't want to pay anything for The CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates, but has offered to extend the stations must-carry status to ensure continued carriage.

Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff said in a statement that the MSO was hopeful an agreement could be reached.

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