Fox Extends Sinclair’s Affiliations into 2012; Time Warner Talks Continue

HUNT VALLEY, MD.: Sinclair Broadcast Group said today that its affiliation agreements with Fox that were due to expire March 31, 2012 have been extended to Dec. 31 of that year. Twenty of SBG’s 58 TV stations are Fox affiliates. The extension also covers KFXA-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa which Sinclair operates under a local marketing agreement.

SBG said it also entered into a programming licensing agreement with the Fox allowing it to do retransmission consent agreements with distributors for the remainder of the term of the affiliation agreement.

SBG now has 33 stations in limbo with Time Warner Cable, the retransmission agreement for which expired Dec. 31, 2010. The two remain in talks. Though sabers have rattled about pulling signals, none have been. Negotiations continue under an extension ending Jan. 14. In recent developments, SBG has said Time Warner declined to increase monthly retrans fees by 10 cents per subscriber.

Time Warner in turn says it has secured rights to network feeds should Sinclair pull local affiliate signals: “We will provide all available Big 4 network programming in the event that Sinclair takes away its signals,” Rob Marcus, president and chief operating officer of Time Warner Cable said recently.

Fox affiliates with skin in the game include KABB-TV in San Antonio, Texas; KBSI-TV in Girardeau, Mo.; WDKY-TV in Lexington, Ky.; WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Penn.; WRGT-TV in Dayton, Ohio; WSYT-TV in Syracuse, N.Y.; WTAT-TV in Charleston, S.C.; WTTE-TV in Columbus, Ohio; WUHF-TV in Rochester, N.Y.; WUTV-TV in Buffalo, N.Y.; and WVAH-TV in Charleston, W.V.