Fox becomes part of Time Warner Cable-Sinclair Broadcasting retransmission dispute

Fox Broadcasting's retransmission deal with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) could be a sticking point in the MSO's increasingly hot negotiations with Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

When Time Warner Cable signed its deal with Fox parent News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), it wrangled a concession that should a Fox affiliate pull its signal from the cable lineup, Fox Broadcasting will step in and offer programming for up to a year. Twenty of the 58 Sinclair Broadcasting channels are Fox affiliates, which could mean that even if Sinclair pulls the programming Dec. 31--and messages are going out that that's a possibility--Fox would be required to supplant them with a national feed.

"It makes it more difficult to negotiate for retransmission consent if you network has provided the cable company an alternative way to receive the feed," Sinclair general counsel Barry Faber conceded.

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