Cable One Inc. has locked horns with Northwest Broadcasting and Hearst Corp.'s Hearst Television Inc. over the renewal of retransmission consent agreements, Multichannel News reported Dec. 28, citing a statement from the company.
With the Dec. 31 deadline approaching, Cable One claimed that both companies had sought a nearly 100% increase in rates, and talks are "difficult." Northwest and Hearst reportedly said they are working to resolve the issue.
Northwest Broadcasting's four stations in Grenada and Cleveland, Miss., ABC (US)-affiliate WABG, FOX (US)-affiliate WABG2, NBC (US)-affiliate WNBD and CBS (US)-affiliate WXVT, are set to go dark Dec. 31. According to the report, Hearst operates affiliates of all four of the major broadcasters in about 16 Cable One markets, and these stations could also go dark Dec. 31 if the companies fail to reach a new retransmission deal.
The news comes as Hearst Television warned subscribers of AT&T Inc. unit DIRECTV of a potential blackout in 28 markets where Hearst owns and operates about 33 stations.