Last-minute deal keeps KXAN, KNVA, KBVO on Time Warner Cable lineup
Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 31, 2013
Austin NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will continue to be a part of the Time Warner Cable lineup after the area’s largest cable provider reached a last-minute deal on Friday with LIN Media, which operates the three stations.
Terms of the agreement weren’t released.
The two sides have publicly sparred in recent weeks over retransmission fees – cash compensation cable and satellite companies must pay broadcasters in order to carry their signals.
In a message to viewers, LIN Media said, in part: “This fair resolution ensures that we can continue to provide top-quality news, sports, entertainment and other local programming that is most important to you.”
Time Warner Cable said this month that LIN Media was asking for a 50 percent increase on top of one it got a few years ago, which a spokeswoman called “outrageous.”
LIN Media countered that its stations draw more viewers than many well-known cable networks, but receive less compensation.
A similar dispute between LIN Media and Time Warner Cable in 2008 dragged on for almost a month before a new deal was reached. During that time, KXAN’s ratings reportedly dipped by almost 40 percent.
In addition to Austin, LIN Media stations could have gone dark for Time Warner Cable subscribers in more than a dozen cities, including Buffalo, N.Y.; Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; and Mobile, Ala. The company operates more than 40 stations nationwide.
Had KXAN, KBVO and KNVA gone off the air, much of their primetime programming would have continued to be available online, according to Time Warner Cable, and on the cable provider’s Primetime on Demand service, which can be found on Channel 1005.
LIN Media, meanwhile, had urged customers to switch to one of Time Warner Cable’s competitors, such as AT&T U-verse, DirecTV, Dish Network or Grande Communications.
Other Austin TV stations have also done battle with cable and satellite companies in recent months, including Fox-owned KTBC and Suddenlink and CBS affiliate KEYE and DirecTV, but last-minute deals kept both stations on the air without interruption.