Tribune and Constitution Spar as New Yr’s Eve Contract Deadline Approaches

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Tribune Media is accusing Constitution Communications of dragging its ft in negotiations because the clock ticks down on the New Yr’s Eve contract renewal deadline overlaying 33 Tribune stations and cabler WGN America in New York, Los Angeles and different markets.

Tribune asserts that Constitution has not been in contact with the Chicago-based TV station proprietor in current days. Constitution, the nation’s second-largest cable operator with about 16.1 million video subscribers, disputed Tribune’s characterization of the standing of the talks.

The edges have been negotiating a brand new carriage deal to switch the pact that expires at 12:01 a.m. ET on Jan. 1. A shutdown would have an effect on greater than six million households throughout Constitution’s methods.

“Regardless of our greatest efforts, Constitution-Spectrum has not engaged in significant negotiations with us, and we now have not heard from them for a number of days,” stated Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman in an announcement Sunday. “We don’t need our viewers to expertise any disruption of service or miss any programming, particularly Tuesday’s Match of Roses Parade or subsequent week’s NFL Playoffs. We stay prepared to barter and proceed to hope that Constitution-Spectrum will attain an settlement with us at honest market charges for the programming supplied by our TV stations and cable community WGN America.”

Constitution maintained that contract talks are ongoing.

“We’re negotiating with Tribune and we hope to achieve a good settlement,” Constitution stated in an announcement.

Carriage negotiations between giant programmers and MVPDs have turn into more and more contentious as either side of the pay-TV area alter to new digital opponents and calls for from viewers. Earlier Sunday, Disney and Verizon reached a brand new carriage pact for ESPN after some saber-rattling earlier within the month.

Talks between cable operators and TV station house owners over retransmission consent charges for native retailers have turn into significantly fraught. MVPDs blame fast-rising retrans charges as a significant contributor to spike in programming prices through the previous decade. Broadcasters counter that native TV stations are persistently among the many most-watched channels on MVPD lineups and thus they’re justified in demanding excessive carriage charges.

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