Two Belo-owned stations may soon part ways with Charter Communications

Unless an agreement can be reached before the end of the year, viewers in Dallas and St. L¬ouis won’t be watching the Belo-owned stations in their communities on their cable TV system
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The Belo television stations in Dallas and St. Louis may be pulled from the Charter Communications cable systems in both cities on Jan. 1 if the parties can’t come to terms on a new retransmission accord.

A statement published on the Web site of KMOV-TV in St. Louis says the station has attempted to reach an agreement with Charter Communications for two years, but the cable operator “has not responded.”

According to the station, it has reached agreements with the other distributors in town, including AT&T U-verse TV, DIRECTV and DISH TV, but not Charter. At issue is compensation for carriage of KMOV-TV’s signal. Charter has “been taking local programming for free and then charging you,” the statement says. In a broadcast Dec. 19, the station said it was seeking about a penny per Charter subscriber per month. The cable operator has about 440,000 subscribers in St. Louis.

Belo-owned WFAA-TV in Dallas also has been unable to reach an agreement with Charter on compensation for the right to carry its signal. According to a story Dec. 20 in the online edition of “The Dallas Morning News,” the station is seeking about one cent per subscriber per month for the right to carry the signal. Charter has about 135,000 subscribers in the Dallas area.

The Dallas station is “demanding high monthly fees from Charter cable customers” for programming that is free over the air and online, the report quoted the cable company as saying.