KAVU TV, Time Warner agree to extension


Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.

Crossroads-area newscasts won't go black just yet.

KAVU-TV and Time Warner Cable entered into a 24-hour extension regarding retransmission negotiations, Jeff Pryor, the Victoria Television Group's general manager, said Wednesday.

"So that will give us a little more time to discuss the situation and hopefully work out a mutually-beneficial resolution," he said.

Ongoing negotiations originally meant Time Warner Cable would cease KAVU and Newscenter 25 transmissions for cable customers in Cuero, Yoakum, Gonzales, Port O'Connor and Seadrift beginning midnight Wednesday.

Regardless of the negotiations' outcome, Crossroads residents will still have access to ABC programming, said Gavino Ramos, senior director of communications for Time Warner Cable Texas.

Both KAVU TV and San Antonio's KSAT serve the affected area, he explained.

"People are going to enjoy the same shows, from 'Desperate Housewives' to all those good things," Ramos said.

Retransmission fees are nothing new, but recent industry changes entered the mix, said Robin Flynn, senior analyst with SNL Kagan, a New Jersey-based media and communications analysis firm.

Originally, local TV stations requested fees from cable operators to carry their signals. Recently, however, some networks requested a cut - about 50 percent - of the local stations' fees.

"That's definitely putting pressure on local stations to ask for more because, now, they have to share half of it with the broadcast network," she said.

Fees in general have been on the rise, Flynn said.

While local stations once requested about 25 to 30 cents per subscriber a month, many now ask for 50 to 75 cents.

Most companies eventually reach agreements, Flynn said.

"Neither of them wants to have a blackout," she said. "That's not good for anybody."



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