Lin Gets Tough With Charter, Signs DirecTV HD Retrans Deal

Lin TV Corp. a media group with nearly 30 stations in 17 markets, has entered into a retransmission agreement with DBS firm DirecTV to carry most of Lin’s broadcast stations in both HD and analog.

The deal came just days after Lin announced negotiations with cable provider Charter Communications for retransmission 11 of those stations in seven markets were unlikely to lead to an agreement, and that the stations would probably be dropped from the cable systems June 30.

Update: June 11, Charter announced it had reached agreement in principle with Lin and would continue to carry the stations, including HDTV channels.

It’s the latest move in Lin’s practice of using DBS deals to create leverage in retrans negotiations with cable. In March, Lin struck a similar deal with Dish.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our negotiations,” said Vincent Sadusky, Lin TV president and CEO. “The agreement reflects fair value to both parties and is in the best interest of the consumer.” DirecTV said the deal will enable it to add more HD channels in existing HD local markets and set the stage for a rollout of more local HD channels in the fall.

The retransmission agreement includes 25 stations in 14 markets. The 11 stations involved in the negotiations with Charter:

  • WPRI-TV and WNAC-TV (Providence, R.I.)
  • WWLP-TV (Springfield, Mass.)
  • WOOD-TV, WOTV-TV, WXSP-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • WLUK-TV (Green Bay, Wis.)
  • WTNH-TV and WCTX-TV (Hartford-New Haven, Conn.)
  • WDTN-TV (Dayton, Ohio)
  • WUPW-TV (Toledo, Ohio)

The other 14 stations are:

  • KRQE-TV, KASA-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • KXAN-TV, KNVA-TV and KBVO-TV (Austin, Texas)
  • WIVB-TV and WNLO-TV (Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • WANE-TV (Ft. Wayne, Ind.)
  • WISH-TV and WNDY-TV (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • WALA-TV and WBPG-TV (Mobile, Ala.)
  • WAVY-TV and WVBT-TV (Norfolk, Va.)