Better news on retransmission front? Time Warner Cable, Sinclair may be thawing

Retransmission agreements don't have to be all about snarl, growl, defame, defeat and concede; they can be about working out differences. There is some hope that will be the case with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) who, reports have it, are open to arbitration to solve their differences.

Of course the same reports come with all kinds of disclaimers that Sinclair won't say what kind of arbitration it would accept, who'd do the arbitrating and when it would begin, and TWC, in true cable fashion, declined to comment. Still, it's better than ugly messages on television channels.

On an even less aggressive front, NBC and Fox network affiliates in the Fort Smith, Ark. market are in seemingly agreeable negotiations with Cox Communications. Perhaps more ominously, DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is also negotiating with local stations owned by Hearst, and the parties there declined to elaborate.

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