Don't touch that dial! TWC, Sinclair not finished; Northwest still blacked out on DirecTV

The apparently never-ending retransmission agreement process between Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Sinclair Broadcast Group has been extended yet again. The original agreement was to expire on New Year's Day but was extended 14 days. At the eleventh hour, the two reached tentative agreement on a new pact, but now comes word that the final deal will take another week to put into place.

Sinclair owns stations across all four major networks in areas where Time Warner Cable serves about four million subscribers. The negotiations between the two started smoothly, turned nasty and finally became threatening toward the end of the year. But at least they seem to be completed.

The same cannot be said of the now month-long blackout Northwest Broadcasting's four channels on DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV). Northwest said it made an offer to DirecTV late last week only to have it "summarily rejected ... without the promise of a proposal by them."

DirecTV, meanwhile, has asked for independent arbitration and for Northwest to open up their channels while the matter's resolved "since both sides seem to be spinning our wheels at this time."

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