‘Tis the season for carriage dispute deadlines, and one that appears to be heating up is between Charter’s Spectrum and Tribune Broadcasting. Deadline reports that Tribune’s stations are advising about 6 million subscribers to the Spectrum cable service of a potential blackout.
“Tribune said 33 stations in 24 markets could go dark across Spectrum systems if a deal cannot be reached by midnight on New Year’s Eve,” Deadline reports. “Its national cable network, WGN America, would also be affected for 14 million customers. Charter is the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, with about 16 million residential customers.”
In a press release, Tribune Media spokesman Gary Weitman said: “The NFL playoffs begin Jan. 5 and we want football fans in our markets to be able to watch these games and root for their favorite teams — we want to reach an agreement with Spectrum. We’ve offered Spectrum fair market rates for our top-rated local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming, and similarly fair rates for our cable network, WGN America. Spectrum has refused our offer.”
Deadline quotes a brief statement from Charter saying: “We continue to negotiate with Tribune and hope to reach a fair agreement.”