LIN Files Retrans Complaint Against New England Cabler

December 11, 2007
LIN TV Corp. continues to play hard ball in the retrans arena. This time, the Providence, R.I. television group filed a complaint with the FCC against Atlantic Broadband, a cable operator in Quincy, Mass., with around 285,000 subscribers. LIN charges that Atlantic is carrying WIVB, it’s Buffalo, N.Y. CBS affiliate, to about 14,000 subscribers in the area without retransmission consent.

“LIN TV has filed a complaint against Atlantic Broadband for its flagrant violation of the FCC’s rules, and LIN TV expects that Atlantic Broadband will immediately cease its unlawful carriage of the station,” a statement from the station group read.

LIN in October reached a retrans agreement with another New England cable operator after protracted wrangling over fees. Broadcasters have increasingly sought retrans fees for their high-definition signals. It was not clear if fee negotiations were at issue with WIVB.

Station president and general manager Christopher A. Musial posted a letter to Atlantic Broadband subscribers on the station’s Web site, telling them, “we expect Atlantic Broadband to immediately cease carrying WIVB and deprive a substantial number of their subscribers of the region’s top-rated local news, along with popular sports and entertainment programming…. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”

He goes on to tell subscribers to call Atlantic and ask to have WIVB reinstated.

Atlantic Broadband had not responded to queries by press time.

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