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Time Warner, LIN TV Reach Retrans Deal

After a nearly month-long station blackout, Time Warner Cable and LIN TV said early Wednesday morning that they had reached a new retransmission-consent deal that will return more than a dozen TV stations to 1.5 million subscribers.

In an announcement issued shortly after 2 a.m. by Time Warner, the nation’s second-largest cable operator said that customers could expect their broadcast signals to be returned immediately.

The issue of whether or not Time Warner will shelling out license fees -- LIN had been seeking  30 cents  for the stations -- remained unanswered by the two companies’ press releases.

According to LIN TV, the new deal covers analog and digital signals for 17 LIN TV stations: 15 carried by Time Warner and Bright House Networks, whose old deals expired Oct. 2; and two stations in Norfolk, Va., whose deals are due to expire by year-end.

Time Warner, which in its press release said 12 stations were covered by the deal, said that the LIN TV stations would be returned to its channel lineups immediately.

On Oct. 3, when Time Warner’s old retransmission-consent deal with LIN TV expired, the broadcaster pulled 15 stations off Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems in Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Green Bay, Wis.; Indianapolis; Mobile, Ala.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Toledo, Ohio.

The dispute also involved three LIN TV stations that Bright House carries in Indianapolis.

“We are pleased to come to an agreement that will return programming to our customers,” Melinda Witmer, Time Warner’s chief programming officer, said in a statement. “We thank our customers for their continued patience and support as we worked to resolve this issue.”

As mentioned, the press release did not describe the financial terms of the deal. LIN TV had been seeking a 30-cent license for its TV stations, a fee that Time Warner had balked at and many in the industry had looked to as a bellwether during the current retransmission-consent cycle.

“We are pleased to have reached a fair market agreement with Time Warner Cable,”said LIN TV president and CEO Vincent Sadusky in a statement. “This agreement, which represents a mutually acceptable economic agreement between the parties, is further indication of the value of our television stations. We thank our viewers and our advertisers for their tremendous support throughout these negotiations.”