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Sinclair and ABC Extend Again

HUNT VALLEY, MD.: Sinclair announced today that its affiliate talks with ABC have been extended to March 31. The previous affiliate agreement for Sinclair’s nine ABC stations expired Dec. 31, 2009. The network and the station group have been in talks to hammer out a new deal. This marks the third extension of those talks. A similar one-month extension was announced in early January and early February.

Late last year, Sinclair closed carriage deals with cable operators that included some of its ABC stations. Its December agreement with Time Warner Cable included three. The contentious battle with Mediacom that concluded in January included Sinclair ABC affiliates in St. Louis, Mo., Mobile, Ala., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sinclair cut its year-over-year loss in 2009 to $138 million compared to $248.7 million in 2008. Revenues, in turn, were down 13 percent to $554.6 million. Sinclair shares (NASDAQ: SBGI) are off a recent peak of nearly $5.80, but at $5.19 at market close, the stock remains nearly 29 percent up year-to-date.