The fat lady hasn't sang yet
Time Warner 'still optimistic' for deal
Advocate staff reports
NEWARK — Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcasting Group still are actively negotiating as the deadline to reach an agreement draws near.
Many Licking County cable customers have been waiting anxiously for word on whether they will lose two local channels.
The current agreement, which Time Warner inherited when it took control of Adelphia earlier this year, expires at midnight Monday morning. If an agreement is not reached before that time, Time Warner customers who previously had Adelphia service would be left without Fox and ABC starting Monday.
Time Warner Mid-Ohio Division spokeswoman Judy Barbao said Time Warner sent a proposal to Sinclair early Saturday morning. The two companies were still “actively negotiating” as of 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re still optimistic it’s going to get done before the deadline,” Barbao said.
Barbao previously reported that Time Warner had a corporate conference Friday that indicated the two groups were getting close to an agreement.
The two companies are disputing because Sinclair Broadcast Group wants Time Warner to pay a fee for carrying the local affiliates, which Time Warner did not have to do under Sinclair’s deal with Adelphia.
Time Warner customers in Newark, Heath, Hebron, Granville and Buckeye Lake are among those in parts of 32 Ohio counties who could lose some local affiliates.
The lengthy battle has led some cable customers to switch to satellite alternatives.
Some customers have been angered by the prospect of not being able to watch the BCS National Championship game and favorite shows that appear on Fox and ABC, such as “Desperate Housewives,” “24” and “American Idol.”
I am assuming that it is not custom for local affiliates to charge a cable company. However, Time Warner could have at least worked out to make these channels optional with a de minimus surcharge to defray the costs. Just an example of innocent customers getting in the middle of bull-headed corporate spats.