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The TV 'Fee Fight' Scoreboard
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2013) - The summer is supposed to be a time when people kick back and leave their worries behind. That is, unless you work in the television business.

As we approach the dog days of the season, there are several carriage battles ongoing between TV providers and content companies that could cost millions of viewers their favorite channels unless new deals are reached. thought we would give you a summary of the current struggles so you have something to read as you head to the beach this week. Nice of us, huh?

Dish vs. Media General
On June 30, Media General agreed to a 90-day extension in its negotiations with Dish for a new programming pact for 17 local stations in 16 markets. Since the extension announcement, both sides have been quiet about any progress.

Time Warner Cable vs. CBS
The current programming pact between Time Warner Cable and CBS was set to expire on July 1, but the two sides are continuing to negotiate without a channel blackout. The new deadline is the end of this month.

Any channel blackout would include CBS owned affiliates, including KCBS in Los Angeles, WCBS in New York and KTVT in Dallas-Ft. Worth. The network also owns Showtime, the Smithsonian channel and CBS Sports Network and they would be part of the blackout as well.

Neither side is talking about progress in negotiations, but the Los Angeles Times reports that tension between the two companies is growing.

Dish vs. Raycom
Dish could lose more than 50 local TV channels if it does not reach a new programming pact with Raycom Media by month's end.

Raycom has stations in such markets as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Charlotte, North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama, Tucson, Arizona, Albany, New York, West Palm Beach, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky and Honolulu.

The stations have issued warnings at their web sites that Dish subscribers could lose their signals by July 31 if a new deal is not signed. There has been no sign of progress in the talks.

Time Warner Cable vs. Journal Broadcasting
Time Warner Cable and Journal Communications agreed to extend negotiations for six local channels until July 10. But the deadline expired and Journal invoked a rarely-used FCC regulation that forces Time Warner Cable to continue to carry five of the stations until July 24. (The Palm Springs market is the exception.)

The affected stations include NBC stations in Milwaukee and Green Bay and a CBS affiliate in Omaha. estimates that roughly 500,000 Time Warner Cable subscribers could lose programming if a new deal is not signed.

It's unclear what will happen on July 24 if a new pact is not signed yet.

Also See:
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TV's Over $1,500
TVs From $1,000 to $1,500

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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