Charter takes down Tribune TV stations for Spectrum subs | Major Businesses | Business
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In the latest of a spate of retrans rows in the US that have marked the beginning of 2019, Tribune Broadcasting TV stations in 24 markets across the US are no longer available to Spectrum subscribers via the company’s cable system.
Spectrum corportae 3Jan2019The contract between Tribune Broadcasting and Spectrum expired at on 2 January 2019 and the failure to successfully renegotiate has meant that approximately six million viewers have lost access to the local news, traffic, weather, sports and entertainment programming provided by the company’s 33 television stations via Spectrum. At the same time, more than 14 million subscribers nationwide have also lost access to WGN America, Tribune’s basic cable entertainment network and the home of hit shows Pure and syndicated programming such as Blue Bloods and Elementary.

Perhaps more importantly on a commercial basis, in addition to local news, programming as the forthcoming National Football League playoffs and NCAA basketball will also be lost.

“We’re extremely disappointed that we do not have an agreement on the renewal of our contract with Spectrum,” said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media’s senior vice president for corporate relations putting forward his company’s side of the retrans row. “The NFL playoffs are in jeopardy—beginning this weekend with critical games in some key markets like Indianapolis and Seattle. We don’t want Spectrum subscribers to miss these games. 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 and failed to negotiate in a meaningful fashion.”

Rebutting Tribune's claims, Charter said in a statement: “Tribune is demanding an increase of more than double what we pay today for the same programming. That is more than we pay any other broadcaster. They’re not being reasonable.”